Banana Bread Protein Pancakes and Park City Eats

by Sara on May 22, 2013

Hello, hello and happy Wednesday! I hope your week has been fantastic so far!

I came to an important realization during my six hour drive home Monday.


Road trip ice cream pit stop take 2: chocolate dipped cone at Dairy Queen—my first in YEARS!

The more ice cream I eat, the more I crave it.

This seems to be the case with other foods like guacamole, chips, popcorn, cinnamon toast, Reese’s peanut butter cups, and sea salt chocolate.
(Sidenote: The craving rule does NOT apply to boring foods like plain chicken. Excessive chicken consumption makes me never want to see it again. Ha!)

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean that my cravings intensify as I eat ice cream; in fact, usually I’m pretty satisfied with a normal-sized portion  (wait, that’s 2 cups, right? 😉 ), or several (large) squares of chocolate. What I mean is that I’ll start craving these foods every day.

Since that amazing roasted banana ice cream experience in San Francisco a few weeks ago, I’ve wanted needed ice cream or frozen yogurt on a regular basis. What was a once or twice per week treat has become an everyday indulgence.


I’m beginning to think I should abandon the healthy living blog community and join the ice cream gourmande blogging community. Do you think that exists? Or maybe I can break my habit by embracing Michael Pollan’s suggestion to eat sugar only on the days that begin with ‘S.’ Sweets only on Saturday’s and Sunday’s?

Hrmm, I wonder if other languages begin other days of the week with the letter S?  😉

Anyway, until I make up my mind about that (totally kidding—I’d never give up my daily sugar fix!), I’m going to try to redeem my healthy living blogger status by showing you a picture of yesterday’s breakfast: Protein Banana Bread Pancakes.


All joking aside, it felt SO good to make a healthy meal in my own kitchen yesterday morning. After three days of road travel, lots of snacking, and a little bit of indulging (mainly in the aforementioned ice cream), I’m extremely happy to be back in a routine. I love trying new foods when I’m on the road, but after a few days, my body usually starts to rebel. My digestion gets wacky; I feel lethargic, my cravings are all over the place, etc. I definitely feel my best when I’m eating familiar, clean foods at regular time intervals.

I love these Banana Bread Pancakes because they’re easy to throw together on a busy morning. Just toss everything in the blender, pour onto the griddle, and voila! A filling and satisfying stack of hot pancakes. They may not be glamorous, but they’re definitely delicious…and more nutritious than ice cream. 😉

Banana Bread Protein Pancakes
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Recipe type: pancakes, breakfast
Serves: 1

  • ⅓ cup rolled oats or quick oats
  • ½ banana, mashed
  • ¼ cup cottage cheese
  • 1 egg (or 2 egg whites)
  • 1 packet stevia (or sweetener of choice)
  • ¼ t. cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or Magic Bullet until batter is relatively smooth
  2. Spray pan with cooking spray and heat to a medium heat.
  3. Pour batter onto the warm pan to form four pancakes
  4. Flip pancakes when they begin to bubble and allow to cook until batter is no longer runny, about two more minutes.
  5. Top with syrup, cinnamon, and banana slices.




These pancakes seriously taste like banana bread! And I really like starting my day with banana bread. :)

Blend Retreat Day 2

Speaking of starting my day…The second day of the Blend Retreat began bright and early with a seriously intense workout. Since I’d missed all of the activities Saturday, I was determined to get my bum out of bed in time for the 7am bootcamp, which was led by GPP Fitness.

I never workout early. Ever. Eating breakfast before hitting the gym isn’t a preference for me, it’s a requirement. 😉 If I don’t fuel up beforehand, I find I fizzle out in 20 minutes.

It’s a miracle, then, that I survived an hour-long intense sweat sesh!


This workout was  HARD, but SO much fun! The instructor had us doing all sorts of squats, lunges, planks, and…cart-wheels!


I don’t think I’d attempted a cart-wheel since I was an eight-year-old taking Tap and Tumble.

Even though I didn’t feel the burn during the workout, I was barely able to walk Monday morning! GPP definitely worked muscle groups that I don’t typically hit when I strength-train.

After our slaying workout we all headed to the Hyatt dining room for an incredible breakfast hosted by Chobani.


To say they pulled out the stops would be a major understatement. Check out the spread:





The 20 minute wait for a made-to-order omelet left me ready to knaw off someone’s arm. I was SO hungry!


My omelet contained a hefty splash of oil (at one point this would have terrified me!) sauteed spinach, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, Gouda, goat cheese, and roasted garlic. The garlic totally made the omelet!


All topped off with a special Chobani yogurt sauce. :)

I also enjoyed sliced pineapple, honeydew, and watermelon, as well as plain 2% Greek yogurt topped with chia seeds and almonds. I couldn’t help but dip my spoon into two of the new Flip flavors, too: Almond Coco Loco and Key Lime Crumble. 

IMG_4059The Chobani girls! (and Janetha!)

Thanks for the amazing meal, ladies!

IMG_4068Candice and Amy–who gave me a tour of Chobani Soho last September

After breakfast, we all gathered in one of the conference rooms for the closing raffle. Some amazing products were up for grabs!


Birthday Cake Nutty Butter!



Around noon, we all packed up and said out goodbyes. Since I’d only arrived 12 hours earlier, I decided to stick around for the afternoon and explore Park City.


After poking around a few shops on Main Street, I drove to Whole Foods for lunch.


The salmon, tuna, and avocado garden rolls  I picked up at the sushi bar were light and refreshing.

At the checkout counter, I noticed that Zaza Raw Desserts were on sale. The Chocolate Cheesecake, which was made with soaked cashews, called to me, and at just  $2.50, it was a total steal!


It had a unique, sweet, nutty flavor, but I really really liked it!


I spent the rest of the afternoon looking around the outlets, but by the time dinner rolled around, I realized that most of the restaurants had closed. Many businesses in Utah shut their doors on Sunday, which meant my options were pretty much fast food, fast food, fast food, or…


Cafe Rio! Two nights in a row at this amazing Mexican joint? Don’t mind if I do!


I’d really enjoyed my chicken salad the night before, and definitely could have eaten it again, but in the spirit of trying something new, I ordered two chicken tacos and a side order of that dreamy creamy cilantro vinaigrette. I seriously need to recreate that dressing at home (or move to a city that has a Cafe Rio)!

After dinner, I hit the road again, and drove four hours before stopping in Twin Falls for the night.  I crashed within 30 minutes of walking in my room. It was an exhausting, but seriously fun and delicious day!


Aaaaand that wraps up the Blend Retreat recaps! Another HUGE thank you to the amazing ladies who planned the weekend! I can’t wait to experience the entire thing next year—flu-free!


Make sure to check out food fiesta What I Ate Wednesday link-up at Peas and Crayons. Thanks so much for hosting, Jenn!


Have a FANTASTIC Wednesday!

Huge hugs!

 I want to know….

Do your cravings for certain foods intensify when you eat  them frequently? If so, which foods seem to have this effect on you?

Ice cream, frozen yogurt, chips, and  guacamole!

When is  your favorite time to workout? If you go in the morning, do you eat breakfast before or after?

I usually workout around 10am–two hours after breakfast.

When you travel, does your body feel…off?  Does anyone else have…ahem, digestive issues on the road?


What after-school activities were you involved in when you were little? Dance? Sports? Band?

I was a tapper, tumbler, ballerina, and soccer  player, and basketball player. I also played the flute and trombone in the band until middle school.




  • Khushboo

    Not jealous AT all about that Chobani breakfast spread- insane or what! I’ve actually never tried Chobani but I know I’d love it…to say their flavors sound delicious would be an understatement! I love how generous they seem with their products too- sign of a great company!

    I’m just the same about sweet foods- the more I have it the more I want it…which probably explains why chocolate has become a regular fixture for me lately! Ironically enough, the more I have it, the more I am also able to stop at a moderate portion because I know I can have it whenever I want it again so there’s no need to eat like it’s going out of stock…if that makes any sense!

    I used to be a morning exerciser but I’m starting to love evening workouts- a great way to destress after a long day and more than that, I love being able to come home and veg out…guilt-free knowing I’ve gotten through my work for the day!

    I’m glad your solo road trip was worth it Sara…BLEND really looks like it was a blast!

    • Sara Stewart

      Ahh, I wish I could bring a few cartons of Chobani to London! You’d LOVE their flavors! Maybe I’ll find a way to swing it…Who says you can’t check an icebox of yogurt? 😉

  • Lucie Pfaendler

    LOOOVE all the blend recaps!! And I am totally with you on the cart-wheel. I did this last time when I was 28 years younger than today and when I try this tday, I look like a Spider hit by my hand, trying to survive. Not nice :-)
    I love to workout early morning first thing and I don’t eat. My stomach can not handle food shortly before an intense workout.
    And YES, cravings follow me big time especially with chocolate!! I eat chocolate every day and I wouldn’t mind having more than one piece, but we all know that chocolate meals aren’t the best for us.
    Glad that you made it back safely girl!! 2 weeks till NYC!! Any idea if you will be near the city?

  • Tara @ Sweat like a Pig

    Looks like so much fun, even if you only got to experience 12 hours of it!

    This is the reason I can’t have sweet foods every day. I grew up having dessert after almost every meal, so to say my sweet tooth was uncontrollable is an understatement.

    As recently as a few weeks ago, I had found myself in the pattern of having dessert every night – either some Lindt sea salt, or an almond milk hot chocolate. I knew it was a dangerous habit to get back into, so I quit cold turkey! After a few days the cravings disappear and I feel much better :)

    • Sara Stewart

      It’s so true about sweets—I don’t have a problem eating sugar every day, but the amount of ice cream I’ve been tucking into has become a bit…excessive. 😉 I’m going to try to go an entire week without it, which will undoubtedly be TOUGH. Haha. I’ll continue to eat chocolate on a daily basis, though. 😉 I think I’d cry without Lindt in my life! xoxo

  • Sophia

    That “s” day rule would never fly in Europe 😉 love gelato far too much For that! I adore cottage cheese in pancakes- I think yours look so fabulous ( tomorrow’s breakfast- with lemon juice on top) Food on the road always tastes so good to me- and that ice cream looks fantastico! But my body always plays up ahem digestively too- lots of water and a good sleep (and shower!!) help ease the “offness” a bit 😉 Cravings are fickle for me I tend to always need a bit of chocolate -but too much actually makes me go off it! On the other hand Vanilla gelato- the “need” increases with frequency of intake! Also a bit of a major need for tomato on toast at the moment, and I find the need cravings are stronger for savoury meals for me- loving mushroom and spinach risotto with lots of Parmesan (NEED parmasen lol) gosh a lot of needs in this comment! I Played soccer, basketball and did hip/hop, ballet, jazz and gymnastics at various times too but was most committed to cross-country. Blend looks like an amazing event-still so impressed by your determination and independence on getting there! Lots of Hugs and Love Sophia

    • Sara Stewart

      Ooh, I’ve never tried lemon juice on top of my pancakes, but I’m so intrigued! Do you sweeten it? And girl, your mushroom and spinach risotto with Parmesan sounds absolutely amazing! Would you be willing to share the recipe? I’d love to try making a truly authentic Italian risotto. 😀 I agree about Parmesan, too—I’ve been a huge kick lately, and can’t go a day without it!

      I didn’t mention it, but I was a cross-country runner in high school, too! I’m not running right now, but I’ll always have a soft spot for it in my heart.

      Sending huge hugs to Italy! <3 xoxo

      • Sophia

        I would love to spread the risotto love! I will email you recipe/directions soon! On the pancakes Lemon juice and a Touch of honey for me ( I’m not a huge sweet tooth) sometimes not even honey, my brothers on the other hand add crunchy brown sugar after the lemon juice (I think you would love that as the texture contrast is awesome!) I haven’t been running lately either with all the stress over the recent year- but it is amazing and almost meditative- also I just found it easier than team sports because everyone else got much bigger and stronger than me in high-school lol! Sending Huge hugs back! Love Sophia

  • coco

    I totally agree that craving chicken is nonesense and never happens.

    I do crave more when I eat more often, this happens to me with kabocha, corn and kale lately.

    I workout in the morning, I usually have a cup of cereal and a decaf latte 30-45 min before i start.

    Sometimes when I travel and don’t eat enough veggies, I get constipated.

    • Sara Stewart

      Haha, yep, I’m pretty sure reduced veggie consumption in the reason behind my digestive problems when I travel, too! 😉

  • Sam @ Better With Sprinkles

    For me when it comes to specific treats, I tend to crave it for a few days, than I’m over it. That’s why I really have no problems keeping things like ice cream in the house…I’ll attack it for a couple of days, then it’ll kick in that I can have in whenever I want and it goes back to being a once or twice a week thing…or a spoonful or two a day. Seems to even itself out pretty well! And as for craving stuff like chicken…I can think of maybe once or twice where I felt what I would honestly consider a craving for it. Nope, my body craves deliciously sweet things 😉
    Ideally, I have the same workout time as you – about 10 am. But working an 8 hour day means that I can’t do that right now, so I’ve been doing most of my workouts early in the am. Not ideal, but I can live with it!
    And when I was a kid, I pretty much tried everything. Dancing was my big one, but I also did figure skating, gymnastics, baseball, baseball and soccer. And then I played field hockey in high school – I miss it!

    Hope you’re having a great Wednesday, Sara!

    • Sara Stewart

      When I was working eight-hour days, I used to hit the gym before work, too. I’d get up insanely early so that I could eat something beforehand, though, because I’d crash if I didn’t! Then I’d come back and eat breakfast #2 afterward, which was definitely the perk of that schedule! 😀

  • Natalie @ Lift,Sleep,Eat

    Oh wow such tasty look WIAW pictures!! Your time at blend looks like it was amazing! That breakfast spread they laid on for you certainly looks like something! Glad you had a good time and got there ok in the end!
    I get what you mean about getting back into routine; although I love being away I can’t wait to get back home and start cooking up a storm in the kitchen again ahah.
    Chocolate & ice cream are my weaknesses; especially since I found a couple of new flavours in my local store – I’ve been treating myself to a little bit everyday..yum!
    I definitely prefer working out in the morning; usually before I’ve eaten anything. Weird how different people’s bodies are..I can’t work out if I’ve eaten before hand; it makes me feel lethargic/sick!
    Oh wow when I was a kid I did loads….trampolining, gymnastics, karate, football (soccer), breakdancing..anything sporty..nothing musical I was hopeless haha!
    Hope you’re having a good week!! x

    • Sara Stewart

      Ooh, what new ice cream flavors have you discovered? I always love comparing flavors in different countries! When I lived in London, I’d buy a new carton every couple days! xoxo

  • AnnaTheApple

    Oh I know exactly what you mean about eating food and then continually craving them. I have gotten into the habit of eating chocolate every single evening. It’s not a bad thing I think as it’s not like a whole bar but it’s annoying how habitual it’s become. It’s almost become like a dependency for the evening. But then I find I can get bored eventually of certain snacks and need to jazz things up with a new kind of chocolate or whatever. And Fridays have become cake day…but I love it :)

    I much prefer working out in the morning and never have breakfast beforehand (usually!) as it’s just waaay too early to be thinking about food for me. I always like to look forward to it afterwards as well.

    The Blend Retreat looks really good. The breakfast set-up looks amazing. Though I’m not too sure about Chobani as I really hate yogurt with bits added. It makes me feel ill for some reason. But the omelettes…yum!
    I hate travelling purely because I hate not having my creature comforts and favourite snacks. As much as it’s ncie to go away, it’s always nice to get home again :)
    Happy Wednesday! x

    • Sara Stewart

      I am totally on board with Friday cake days! Maybe I’ll adopt that habit, too. 😉 Happy Wednesday, Anna!

  • Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl

    I SO agree with you on the craving rule, especially when it comes to chips with guac/salsa and popcorn. Seriously, once you start you just cannot stop!! Ooooo..and nut butters, too!

    And holy cow, that cheesecake looks amazing! And how cool that it is raw and vegan. That excites me! :)

    • Sara Stewart

      You would have LOVED the cheesecake! The texture was so creamy and delicious! xoxo

  • Caitlin

    hey! I just saw that Jamie Eason pinned one of your recipes!! How cool! She repinned one of mine the other month for chicken lettuce wraps and I was sooo excited! lol

    • Sara Stewart

      Yes! Her pin totally made my day/week/month!! Do you have a link to the recipe of yours that she pinned? I’d love to check it out! xoxo

      • Caitlin

        of course! It is not “my” recipe though. Just one I found and repinned! I have made it numerous times though & it is wonderful! so flavorful & easy peasy :)

        • Sara Stewart

          Ooh, those look so good! Thanks, girl! <3

  • Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen

    So great to see you–no matter how briefly–this weekend. I wish we could have actually had a chance to talk. :) I guess we were too busy attempting cartwheels? I know I did NOT think I’d be as sore as I was…and still am a little bit!

    I love traveling for the new tastes and experiences, but it definitely throws off my system. The air pressure from plane travel also makes my stomach feel wonky.

    And as soon as I saw the photo of your cone, I knew it was from Dairy Queen. I haven’t been in YEARS, but I swear, ice cream is my weakness. Perhaps it is actually a good thing I discovered my lactose intolerance issues?

    • Sara Stewart

      Haha, I know…who knew cartwheels could induce such soreness? I so wish we’d had more time to chat, too! Maybe next year? Will you be there again? I think I’m going to quarantine myself a week beforehand, so that I don’t get sick. 😉 Happy Wednesday, Sarah! <3

  • Maria Tadic

    That Blend conference you’re at or doing seems really cool. Is there a link to it? What is it?

    • Sara Stewart

      Hey, yeah, the Blend Retreat was SO much fun! Here’s a link to the website

      Happy Wednesday, Maria!

  • HealthyDiva

    I am so happy you made it there and so happy you had a blast! I wish there was a cafe rio around here, YUM! I was sad to miss BLEND, but next year I will be going and you better be too!

    I am SO making those pancakes! I have one banana sitting here staring at me, says it wants to be made into pancakes, haha! Love you!

    • Sara Stewart

      I will SO be there next year if you’re going to be there! I miss your pretty face, Katie!! Can we start planning that NYC trip? xoxoxo <3

  • Missy

    Oh girl, YES with the cravings. Its the name of the game (sugar, salt, fat).
    A big one for me is Chips. Tarot chips, plantain chips, potato chips, rice crisps, tortilla… I go on total benders and like you end up feeling nast even though my selections are pretty healthy.

    GPP…*shudder* I am TERRIFIED at the thought now that I see ALL these amazing super fit peeps like you and Lindsay and Laura talking about how sore they were.

    If y’all were sore? I reckon I would be wheelchair bound after only 10 minutes. LOL.

  • Courtney Violet Bentley

    OH DOLLFACE! I am so JEALOUS of your weekend, honestly I wish I would have gone it looks like SUCH a blast :) My cravings for SUGAR get a RISE after having some, I feel like my taste buds are like OMG what have we been missing out on but the aftermath is NEVER good… I used to be a ballerina and was training to be a prima but things got out of hand once I entered HIGH SCHOOL (boys were WAY more important) so cheerleading became my “sport” I miss my EARLY morning workouts with my bestie because it was SO nice to just get it out of the way because lately I have been doing a noon time routine and I feel like my day has wasted away! Those pancakes LOOK DELISH! I am trying to come up with some dairy free and oat free versions since I am allergic ;( Hope to do Blend next year and MEET YOU :)))) xo Love + Shine Court

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin

    Yes I totally know what you mean! The more I have ice cream, fro yo, cake, or basically any kind of dessert, the more i want it on a regular basis. It usually happens in phases for me though – like I’ll want desserts for a two week period, and then not really want them for another couple more weeks.

    The 2nd day of Blend retreat looks like it was so much fun! I love the sound of that workout. I used to only workout after breakfast as well, but in the past year I’ve started doing some early morning workouts and I’ve adjusted to not having a large meal in my belly beforehand. I used to think I would get starving halfway through my workout, but that doesn’t usually happen.

  • Claire @Keeping Up With Claire

    Ohhhhhhhemgee I want those pancakes. Sidenote-your eyes are gorgeous! So pretty and blue!

    My cravings for sugar almost always intensify after I eat it. I don’t skimp on the froyo and every time I finish it off, I always want more candy. I’ve actually found that the less I eat it, the less I crave it. Of course, I love it too much to not eat it, but it’s hard to stop!

    I prefer to workout early but with running lately I just haven’t been able to. Once my half-marathon is done, I hope to get back in the gym early again!

    When I travel, unless it’s home to Maryland to visit my family/friends, I always feel a little off. I tooooooootally know how you feel girlfriend 😉 Maybe maybe maybe one day when I’m in MD you will be in DC and the stars will align for us to meet…maybe maybe!

    I was a big time soccer and basketball player up until I was 17, but I was also big into horseback riding as a child. I used to be a little barn rat, and had horse shows almost every weekend. My poor parents.

    In other news, are you going to HLS? I’m on the fence because my cousin’s wedding is the weekend after, but I’ve wanted to go for so long! Happy Wednesday dollface! <3

  • Alyssa

    In spanish speaking countries, only one day of the week starts with an “s” :p

  • Lindsay Smith

    As soon as I saw the little picture, I knew that was a dipped cone from dairy queen lol Texas problems. Blend looks so fun! That birthday cake nut butter especially looks delicious. I’m glad you had a great time!

  • runwithspoons

    Wednesday starts with an S in Polish, so you’ve got that one covered 😉 But I definitely have the same problem with delicious treats. It’s almost like it has to be an all or nothing kind of deal… I can go without having my favorite foods, but the moment I get a taste, I want it Like you, I’m satisfied with a reasonable portion, but I still like to see that reasonable portion on a daily basis :)

    And girl, can I ever relate to digestive issues when I travel. I don’t know if it’s the change in routine or the stress associated with travelling, but my stomach isn’t a fan of being dragged away from home. I do my best to eat some familiar foods while I’m away, but it doesn’t seem to matter. Ahh well. Being out having fun is more than worth it.

  • Jan @ Sproutsnsquats

    Yum those pancakes look amazing :)

    I wish I lived closer so I could have gone to Blend.

  • Lori and Michelle

    we had a blast with those cart-wheels- we have not done them in years so it was fun to do them again – though we were not good at them 😉

    now we are craving pancakes hehe

  • Lillian_SeizeTheLatte

    Holy yes, cravings! I have a sweet tooth like you wouldn’t believe — but I also love salty snacks. (My ultimate combination? Fries dipped in soft-serve. No joke. Brandon finds this combination repulsive — but whatever, he’s never had PMS. It tames the hormone gods like woah!)

    As for after school sports, oy, I did just about everything. Ice hockey, soccer, track, volleyball, basketball, horseback riding…if there was a sport I could do, I did it. Granted, by the time I got to college I was tiiiiiiired of team sports, and that’s when I took up running. A nice solitary run can be just what the doctor ordered sometimes!

  • Lauren @ Sweat The Sweet Stuff

    Yes my stomach was off the whole time! :( I do believe I have the same problem with icecream & fro-yo. I eat breakfast before I workout too so I can fuel my muscles. That raw cheesecake looks amazing! I wish I would’ve eaten at Café Rio with you. It looks so good!

  • julie

    girl you TOTALLLLLLY took advantage of your time spent in Park City! What a great couple of days and way to rebound fast from being sick! What a killer breakfast spread that Chobani put out for everyone :)

  • Gina

    Oh man, what I would have given to eat around Park City with you and with all the other wonderful Blend attendees! And those pancakes looks amazing!

  • Life’s a Bowl

    Pancakes are my favorite breakfast food, uh duh 😛 I’ve made a similar stack a while back and definitely need to make them again soon after seeing your sweet stack! The past 2 times I’ve flown my stomach has been completely wacky when I’ve gotten home… Not fun at all.

Previous post:

Next post: