I was never a big coffee shop person. Sure, when I was traveling, I would pop into a Starbucks but it was never part of my daily schedule. I also never drank my coffee over ice. I really was just a traditional, make it at home and hot kind of girl.
When I was in law school in Miami, I was introduce to Cafe con Leche, which is the better, Cuban version of a Latte. I recently discovered the amazing Cuban place we order from routinely (Black Bean Cafe if you are in the area) had an amazing Iced Cafe con Leche. Then, during the pandemic, they came up with bottled Cafe con Leche, which I immediately fell in love with. I loved being able to have this speciality coffee drink at my own home!
The only issue I have with a daily Iced Cafe con Leche is the amount of sugar and calories. Generally, it calls for regular sugar and whole milk, which can make this pretty heavy! Of course you can play with the ingredients to reduce the calories and sugar and still keep it a sweet treat. You can even try a caffeine-free version!
Another drink I recently started making at home is Chai Tea Latte. I prefer the Tazo “skinny” version. Pair this with unsweetened almond milk and the drink is around 75 calories and 18 carbs or so. Of course, with the weather getting warmer in Florida, I am drinking this iced but you can make it hot as well. I’ve found this at Publix, my local grocery store.
This was a fun and easy recipe that really hit it out of the park! The whole family loved them.
SERVES: 24 (1 ball each) Prep Time: 20 min.
1 cup all-natural smooth peanut butter 1 Tbsp. cornstarch 3⁄4 cup coconut flour 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup Hot water 8 oz. semisweet chocolate, 62% cocoa or higher, chopped 2 tsp. extra-virgin organic coconut oil, unrefined
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Combine peanut butter, cornstarch, coconut flour, and maple syrup in a medium bowl; blend well with a spatula until mixture forms a uniform dough.
Using clean hands, shape dough into twenty-four 1-inch balls; place a toothpick in the center of each ball. Place on prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Fill small saucepan with 2 inches of water; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low.
Place a heat-proof mixing bowl over saucepan. Add chocolate and oil. Stir for 2 to 3 minutes, or until just melted. Make sure water does not splash into the bowl.
Remove balls from refrigerator. Hold a ball by the toothpick and dip into chocolate, swirling to completely coat. Return to baking sheet. Repeat with each ball. (For any uncoated areas, coat carefully with a spoon dipped into chocolate.)
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until chocolate has hardened.
Store in airtight container in the refrigerator.
TIPS: • You can also melt the chocolate in the microwave. Place morsels and oil in microwave-safe container. Microwave on 50% power for 30 seconds; stir. Microwave for an additional 30 to 45 seconds or until just melted. Do not overcook. • To prevent the balls from sticking to your hands when you roll them, lightly coat your hands with nonstick cooking spray.
I did not chop the chocolate chips, just melted them by stirring frequently over heat. I also recommend a little more than 20 minutes to harden the peanut butter as the toothpicks weren’t in there solid enough to swirl in the chocolate without the help of a spatula. I would also recommend taking the toothpicks out after the chocolate is on and before you put them back in the fridge.
On Sundays (and sometimes Mondays), I meal plan for the week. This week, my husband and I are on vacation so I will be planning on lunches for him as well but I plan on incorporating leftovers and treats. Stay tuned for some new recipes I’m trying out, including peanut butter cups!
I know a lot of people are intimidated by meal planning but I promise, you don’t need to be. You already do a little bit of meal planning when you buy your groceries, whether or not you mapped it out in advance. It only takes a few minutes to plan out the week. You can get started by planning out the first few days and then expanding to the week from there. You don’t have to cook it all at once and I often switch things around during the week if we have a lot of leftovers or feel like getting takeout one night.
I start my meal plan by writing down different ideas I have for things I want to cook that week. Then, I fit them into a day that makes sense at the time. I also know which meals will give us a lot of leftovers and will skip a night of cooking. I also cook things that work for everyone’s tastes at that time. So where I may eat something over a salad, my Husband may eat that same thing with a wrap or bun.
Since this is a vacation week, I want to make sure we’ve got plenty of food for lunches and snack as well. Since I have extra time because of vacation, I’m going to be cooking every night and saving the leftovers for lunches. It’s also my Husband’s birthday on Friday so we are planning a fantastic night of takeout along with cake and celebration!
Of course, this vacation week is different than years past since we will be at home all week. Normally this week of the summer is spent at the beach but I still meal plan when we are away. We know when we are going to splurge at the breakfast buffet, when we are going to eat away from the hotel (and where) and when we are going to grab a quick something from the beach cafe. Traveling to somewhere you haven’t been before can be a little trickier but you can always have a flexible plan and check out the menu before you dine.
3/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter 3 tablespoons raw honey 1 1/2 cups rolled oats 1/2 cup mini dark chocolate chips 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Mix oats and chocolate chips together in a large bowl. Set aside.
Heat peanut butter over low heat in a small sauce pan, stirring occasionally. Once it is runny, remove from heat and stir in the honey. Drizzle over the top of the oats mixture. Sprinkle with the salt (I used less) and mix everything together. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Remove from fridge and form into eighteen 1-inch balls. You can store these in an airtight container for up to a week or freeze them, but they never last more than 2 days in my house before they are devoured!
Nutrition Facts: (per piece) 137 calories, 9 g fat, 10 carbs, 4.6 g protein, 2.3 g fiber, 5 g sugar