Better With Sprinkles

The Colourful Side to Healthy Living.


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Xyla Review: Coconut Dipped Baked Banana Donuts.

This is the recipe that I had posted on Tuesday, but decided to take it down as it didn’t feel appropriate. I still wanted to share it, so I decided to post it today. Enjoy!

 

Xyla Review

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by a representative at Xyla to try out some of their products.

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Xyla creates various products (candies, chocolate, jams, etc) made from xylitol. If you’re unfamiliar with it, xylitol:

  • is all-natural; it is naturally occurring and extracted from fruits and veggies
  • contains 2.4 calories per gram (40% less than sugar) and is absorbed as a complex carbohydrate
  • is good for diabetics, as it’s a natural insulin stabilizer
  • has dental benefits; it can reduce plaque, dental cavities, and helps prevent demineralization of tooth enamel

Sounds pretty good, right?

In the package that Xyla sent me, I received candies/mints, gum and the xylitol granules. Of course, I wanted to try everything:

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The candies are interesting: they’re candy, but they’re recommended to help prevent cavities. Kind of the opposite of most candy, don’t you think? These were pretty good – I would pop 3-4 when I wanted a burst of flavour. Although, I found it odd that the lemon lime was really sweet, while the watermelon flavour was kind of sour.

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The gum…meh. The flavour was nice, but it was gone really quickly. And the texture was a bit off – almost too chewy.

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Of course, the real test was the granules themselves. Out of the bag, they had an almost citrus-y taste, which threw me off a little bit. But when I tried baking with it?

I never would have guessed that it wasn’t sugar. There was absolutely no aftertaste, and the baked goods were just as sweet as they would have been using plain old white sugar.

So…the recipe.

Donuts

One childhood memory that stands out a lot as a kid was making donut stops at Tim Hortons. It would usually only happen when on road trips or special events, but it was awesome. Being the chocolate fiend that I was (and am) I usually went for my favourite, Chocolate Glazed. Although now, I would have to give that title to Sour Cream Glazed.

(source)

So when I was trying to decide what I wanted to make with my newly-acquired Xyla, I decided to revisit some of those memories and make donuts Open-mouthed smile I’ve had a donut pan for about 2 years now, but I’m pretty sure I’ve only used it once. Pretty unacceptable. I decided to go with banana, because really – who doesn’t like banana flavoured baked goods?

These are baked, so obviously not quite like the Timmies donuts of my childhood. But, they are every bit as delicious. And if you don’t have a donut pan, they would work just as well as muffins – you just would require some extra time in the oven.

Coconut-Dipped Baked Banana Donuts

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(serves 6. Basic donuts inspired by this recipe)

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 large banana, mashed
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used 2%)
  • 1/4 cup Xyla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (if you want even more coconut flavour, use coconut extract)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • dash salt

Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup coconut butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used almond coconut)
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey (optional if you want the glaze to be a little sweeter)
  • crumbled banana chips (optional, but not really)
  • unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease donut pan. Beat mashed banana, yogurt, and Xyla.

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2. Add oil, vanilla and egg. Beat until mixed.

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3. Add dry ingredients. Beat until just incorporated – do not over beat.

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4. Pipe or carefully spoon batter into donut pan. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown and donuts spring back when pressed.

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5. Let donuts cool in pan while you prepare glaze.

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6. Add all ingredients together and heat – either stovetop or in the microwave. Stir often. Place in shallow bowl.

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7. Dip donuts in glaze. Add coconut and banana chips, then let glaze harden. Store leftover glaze in the fridge.

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So…these are pretty fabulous. Soft, fluffy, and taste like banana bread with an added hint of coconut. Like I said, you would never have guessed that it was Xyla as opposed to white sugar in there.

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So.freakin.good.

Enjoy your Tuesday!

<— What’s your favourite kind of donut?

<— What’s your favourite sweetener besides sugar: xylitol, stevia, honey, maple syrup, other?


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Groceries and Glossybox.

Happy Sunday! I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend so far Open-mouthed smile

Of course, my Saturday started off with the usual groceries and meal planning.

What I picked up this week:

Fruits and Veggies:

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  • bananas
  • mushrooms
  • figs
  • arugula
  • grapes
  • baby carrots
  • broccoli
  • orange bell pepper

Proteins

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  • massive grilling steaks
  • ground pork
  • shrimp
  • egg whites
  • frozen chicken breasts (love these from M&M’s)
  • chipotle canned tuna (I was intrigued)

 

Grains/Frozen

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  • fibre 1 (my old lady cereal)!
  • udon noodles
  • frozen meals
  • chicken fingers (all of which are boyfriend lunch options)

 

Miscellaneous

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  • tinfoil
  • The Bee’s Knees peanut butter
  • sugar-free blueberry jam
  • cream cheese
  • cinnamon (I ran out for a few hours. Unacceptable)
  • Mini Eggs (!!!) Quite possible the best thing about Easter. I bought it for a recipe I’m making for the holiday next weekend, so the challenge is keeping the bag unopened until then. No promises.

Meal Plan:

  • Saturday: take-out
  • Sunday: Steak and salad
  • Monday: Pasta with meat sauce
  • Tuesday: leftovers/quick meal (I’ve got a presentation I’m attending that night)
  • Wednesday: shrimp and veggie stirfry with udon noodles
  • Thursday: BBQ chicken breasts with baked potato wedges and broccoli
  • Friday: my parents house for Easter!

Glossybox

So, I am not a beauty blogger by any stretch of the imagination. I have no idea what’s new and popular in beauty products, but that does not mean I’m not willing or able to learn about such things. So, I was pleasantly surprised when a gift from Glossybox showed up in the mail last week.

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Basically, glossybox is a subscription beauty service that will send you a carefully selected box based on your beauty profile, promising at least 5 deluxe-sized beauty products from reputable companies. They sent me a box in celebration of their one-year anniversary in Canada.

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Pretty things!

First up:

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Anatomicals rose shower gel. Smells amazing and has attitude…love it Smile with tongue out

Birthdays and anniversaries require cupcakes, don’t they? I’m always looking for an excuse to make cupcakes Open-mouthed smile

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A Crabtree & Evelyn hand lotion sampler. I’m not a huge fan of anything orange-flavoured, but I absolutely adore the scent – and this is no exception.

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Macadamia oil hair treatment. I haven’t tried it as a full-blown hair mask yet, but I rubbed a little bit on as a finishing treatment the other day and it definitely looked a little shinier and smoothed flyaways. It smelled good too!

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And for the face: Biore pore strips and Eucerin anti-wrinkle cream. I’ve only tried the day cream so far, and it seemed really hydrating on my skin (which tends to be dry). I’m not sure if I have to worry about wrinkles at 23…but I feel like it’s recommended that you start using it in your 20’s?

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Love this eyeshadow! I gravitate towards silvers and neutrals, so this palette was absolutely perfect.

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HOLYSHITGIVENCHY.

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Pretty sure this is the single most expensive makeup product I’ve ever owned. I really like this shade – I prefer a more neutral lip, and this just adds a hint of colour.

So basically…this is amazing and I’m so happy I got the chance to discover that this company is in Canada. Some full size products and a couple little samples thrown in there – can’t go wrong! I remember seeing Birchbox and similar subscription services available in the States, so it’s awesome that Canada has a similar service. I’m thinking I’m going to buy a 3 month subscription (prices are reasonable too…$21 a month or $60 for three months) as an end-of-semester present to myselfWinking smile

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

<— Would you ever use a beauty subscription service?

<— Do you use anti-wrinkle cream? Should I be doing it?

 

**disclaimer: Although I received the Glossybox free of charge, I was not compensated for this post. Glossybox didn’t even ask for a review – I loved it so much that I wanted to tell you guys about it.


39 Comments

Quest Bar Review.

Happy Saturday!

So, if you’ve been reading blogs at all lately, chances are, you’ve noticed Quest protein bars floating around. They’re certainly popular right now! It is with good reason; these bars are:

  • between 160 – 210 calories each
  • high protein (20 grams per bar)
  • high fibre (at least 16 grams per bar)
  • low carb
  • low in sugar
  • gluten free
  • with an incredibly short ingredient list.

Luckily for me, Quest Nutrition was kind enough to send me a sample pack so I could throw my two cents in there.

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So nice Smile

The pack they sent me included twelve flavours, plus their new peanut butter protein cups. Overall, I enjoyed these bars. I like the fact that the ingredient lists are full of short, pronounceable ingredients. Their regular line is sweetened with sucralose, while their all-natural line is sweetened with stevia. While it didn’t bother me, the bars did have a bit of that ‘sweetener’ aftertaste. I noticed it with all the bars, but it was more obvious with the original line.

It took me a little while to get used to the texture of these bars. I usually prefer my protein bars to have a bit of crunch to them, while these were very dense and chewy – almost taffy-like. It was actually a bit of work for my jar to chew them!

But that issue was quickly solved with a quick ten second zap in the microwave. It made them a little bit melty and much easier on my jaw.

So, let’s get down to the individual flavours!

Banana Nut Muffin

I had heard really good things about this flavour, so it was the first one I broke into.

Yea. It was amazing! I expected it to have a banana and walnut flavour to it, but somehow they managed to actually make it taste like a muffin. I don’t even understand how they did it. One of the best flavours, for sure!

Strawberry Cheesecake

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The first thing I noticed when I opened the package – an overwhelming smell of strawberries. Not a bad thing, right? While I don’t think they quite got the cheesecake flavour down, I loved the freeze dried strawberries spread throughout.

Vanilla Almond Crunch

I’m not huge into vanilla, but the flavour was nice. I thought it could have used a few more almonds for a bit more crunch and almond flavour.

Cinnamon Roll

I was pretty underwhelmed with this flavour. I ate it while I was walking to class so I didn’t get a chance to heat it up, but I have a feeling I would have been happier with it that way.

Protein Peanut Butter Cups

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If you’re looking for a Reese’s replacement, you’re probably going to a tad disappointed – the chocolate was chalky and it wasn’t anywhere sweet enough. I liked it, but if I reached for this while I was craving a Reese’s, it would not satisfy.

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It was pretty good crumbled into vanilla Greek yogurt though!

Chocolate Brownie

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Dense, fudge-y deliciousness. This one reminded me of chocolate milk, in a weird way. Especially amazing after being heated up!

Mixed Berry Bliss

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This one didn’t excite me at all. I’ve seen people make the comparison to a fruit and grain bar, but I didn’t see it. Not my favourite.

Coconut Cashew

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Fan fact about me: Cashews are easily my favourite type of nut. So I was happy to see it included in one of my Quest Bars. This one had a tropical feel to it with a great coconut flavour. One of my favourites!

Lemon Cream Pie

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I’m picky about my lemon-flavoured things (I absolutely adore lemon meringue pie, but anything else I’m a little weary of) so I wasn’t sure what I was going to think about this one. It was amazing! Enough lemon flavour that you noticed it, but not too much as to be overwhelming.

Apple Pie

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P.S. I love how you can see my manicure slowly degrading through the pictures…

Ohmygod the Apple Pie bar. I adored this one! The cinnamon was nice (I actually noticed it more in this bar than I did the Cinnamon Roll flavour) and the big, chewy apply chunks throughout only improved. I threw this one in the microwave and topping it with peanut butter, and it was absolutely fabulous.

Peanut Butter Supreme

Eaten on my break in class, so I couldn’t heat it up. It was still fabulous – basically, slightly sweetened peanut butter in bar form. Delicious.

Chocolate Peanut Butter

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Had the chewy, fudginess similar to the brownie flavour, but I wasn’t actually picking up on the peanut butter too much. Good, but Quest has better flavours.

Peanut Butter and Jelly

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Had high hopes for this one – it tasted like the peanut butter supreme, but with a slight fruity flavour. Tasty, but I would have liked to see a little bit more of a fruit flavour.

So overall – I did like these bars and I would purchase them. I would probably pick certain flavours instead of the variety box though, because some of the flavours I loved, and others were just ok.

So if I were putting together my own variety box, I would include:

  • banana nut muffin
  • apple pie
  • lemon cream pie
  • coconut cashew
  • peanut butter supreme

And now, I just need to get my hands on one of those new Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavours…I am intrigued by that one, for sure.

Have a great day!

<— Have you tried Quest Bars?

<— What would you rather have in a protein/energy bar: crunchy or chewy?