Maple Almond Granola Bar

So, since I’ve been on a granola bar kick lately, I decided these would make a great addition to the recipe list. 🙂

Another accidental experimentation, these are one of the best bars yet! Filled with almond butter goodness, mixed with sweet dates and hearty oats, these granola bars are great for any time of the day. A dash of cinnamon makes them complete.

Almonds are a great nut! They are packed with vitamin E, healthy oils, and a decent amount of protein to keep hunger at bay. Unfortunately, people still shy away from nuts due to their high calorie count. However, I’ve read that at times the calorie count on the label for nuts is higher than what the body may actually use. This is due to the way that calories are measured. ( check it out here –> On Food Labels, Calorie Miscounts )

Pumpkin seeds are one of my favorite seeds (if you haven’t noticed them in half of my recipes already). These little seeds are packed with zinc ( healthy skin! ) and add a little crunch to the bar.

The dates are what keep the granola bar together. Not only do they add a nice amount of sweetness, they are a great source of carbohydrates and fiber.

Ceylon cinnamon is one of my favorite “species” of cinnamon. It’s harder to find and a tad more expensive, but I personally think it tastes better. In the ways of health benefits- Ceylon has a lower amount of coumarin which is a blood thinner. “Regular cinnamon” such as the Saigon and Cassia tend to have higher amounts of coumarin which may be harder on the liver and kidneys if consumed highly in daily amounts.

Oats are always a favorite of mine. 100% whole grain, high in fiber, and a solid source of protein and carbohydrates. Oats the soluble fiber in oats can be a key player in lowering cholesterol. As well as keep you full and satisfied. 🙂

Maple Syrup is by far my favorite sweetener. Brewed from the almighty maple tree, this syrup contains vitamins and minerals that no other sweetener can boast about. It has even been shown that maple syrup does not spike blood sugar and insulin levels as much as regular table sugar.

So enough of me blabbing away, here’s the recipe!

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Maple Almond Granola Bar

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cup whole rolled oats ( gluten-free if you so choose)
  • 1/4 cup Justin’s almond butter
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp ground vanilla
  • 1 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Set oven to 350F. Spread oats evenly onto cookie sheet and toast for 5 minutes.

Combine dates and water in bowl and soak for 5-10 minutes. (Until soft)

Use coconut oil to grease a granola bar pan. If you do not have a granola bar pan, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Drain dates and press with paper towel to remove excess moisture. Put into blender or food processor. Grind until paste forms. Scrape down sides. Add almond butter. Mix until just combined. Add ground vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Mix until combined. Scrape the rest out into a bowl.

In the bowl. Add the date and almond butter mixture with toasted oats. Combine with maple syrup and pumpkin seeds. *Add almonds.

*(optional) Break up almonds slightly with mortar and pestle.

Once everything is mixed, add to the granola bar pan. Or shape desired amount onto cookie sheet with parchment paper. Put into freezer for about 15 minutes until set.

Enjoy 🙂

Fabulous Vanilla Fig Bars

Happy Monday!

Another snack bar creation, nothing short of delicious. 🙂 A yummy mix of only 4 ingredients: figs, cashews, vanilla, and a few dates come together in a yummy and unique flavor.

The figs are full of fiber and contain some calcium.  In addition, they bring an excellent flavor to the bar.

Cashews are a fairly mild nut, so they add a creamy and soft note to this snack.

Then the ground vanilla is responsible for the wonderful flavor of these bars. Ground vanilla is stronger than vanilla extract. If you choose to use vanilla extract, I suggest doubling the amount and then  to taste.

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Fabulous Vanilla Fig Bars

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil for pan preparation
  • 3/4 cup dried figs
  • 1/4 cup dried dates
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla (more to taste)

Soak figs and dates in water for about 5 to 10 minutes. Prepare granola bar pan with coconut oil. If you do not have a granola bar pan, a cookie sheet and parchment paper will work.  Put cashews and ground vanilla into blender and grind until finely chopped. Drain figs and dates, pat dry. Add to vanilla and cashew mixture in blender. Blend until paste forms. You may have to use a spoon or spatula to wipe the sides.

Remove mixture from blender and arrange on granola bar pan or parchment paper. Put into freezer for about 10 to 15 minutes to set.

Enjoy 🙂

Mocha Lovers Snack Bar

Hi there! Happy Friday! Nothing beats celebrating a Friday with coffee and chocolate, eh?

Sometimes the best creations come about with experimentation. These Mocha Snack bars may look very similar to the brownie bars, but don’t be fooled! These are for the coffee-lovers. If you’re not a coffee-lover, then you soon may be. A delicious mix of coffee and chocolate is super satisfying and has no yucky preservatives or weird artificial colors.

Super quick and super easy to make, these bars will be fabulous for on the go.

Made with nourishing dates, almonds, pecans, fine espresso, cocoa, chocolate chips, these bars are simply delicious!

I would usually make it with cacao powder (for it retains more nutrients than cocoa powder) but alas, I have run out ): . So coco powder will do just fine for now.

*To make vegan: use dairy-free chocolate

*These do contain caffeine if using caffeinated coffee.

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So let’s just get to the recipe ! 🙂

Mocha Lovers Snack Bar

  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup raw pecans (can substitute for walnuts)
  • 2 tbsp Illy espresso powder
  • 1 tbsp coco powder (or cacao)
  • 1 pinch of ground vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

For chocolate topping

  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 heaping tbsp coconut oil

For the Mocha Lovers Snack Bar: Coat snack bar tray with coconut oil. If you do not have a snack bar tray, you can use a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Soak dates in water for about 5-10 minutes. While soaking, grind almonds and pecans in blender until fine. Pat dry the dates and grind in blender with almonds and pecans. You may have to use a rubber spatula to scrap sides. Until just about mixed, add the espresso powder, coco powder, and vanilla. Grind and manually mix until fully incorporated. Manually mix in chocolate chips

For the chocolate topping: Warm coconut oil and chocolate chips over low-medium heat in a saucepan. Stir constantly to avoid burning. Once melted, carefully drizzle over snack bars.

Put snack bars in freezer to set.

Enjoy! 🙂

*Note: the chocolate covering is great to use on anything chocolate covered. It even makes a great “magic shell” for ice cream!

Healthy Brownie Bars

Hi There!

I apologize for being away for awhile. But here’s a new recipe! It’s adapted from Leite’s Culinaria . If you’ve ever had Larabars, then you will love this! They’re easily customizable, healthy, and perfect for on the go.

With only a few simple ingredients, you’ll be able to whip these up in no time.

They contain dates, almonds, walnuts, cacao powder (or coco powder), and your favorite chocolate chips.

I love dates for their sweetness and health benefits! They had nutrition while keeping this treat sweet! The almonds and walnuts add healthy fats and nutrients. Try your best to get raw nuts, and even better if they’re sprouted! I use cacao powder for this recipe because of the increased nutritional value and personal taste over coco powder. If you only have coco powder, that will work just fine. 🙂

This can easily be made into a dairy-free recipe depending on which chocolate chips you choose to use.

If you so choose, you can add a pinch of salt to bring out the flavor, although I don’t think it is necessary.

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Healthy Brownie Bars

  • 1 cup packed dates
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 3 heaping Tbsp of cacao powder
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips
  • pinch of salt (optional)

Soak dates in water for about 5 minutes, or until soft. Meanwhile, process almonds and walnuts in a food processor, blender, or magic bullet. Drain water and add dates. You may have to manually mix ingredients in blender to make sure everything is fully mixed. Add the cacao powder, mix. Transfer into a bowl and mix in desired amount of chocolate chips. Add pinch of salt if desired.

If you do not have a granola bar pan, put parchment paper onto a cookie sheet. Organize brownie bar mixture into desired size and shape. Put into freezer to set for about 20 minutes.

Enjoy 🙂

Coffee Time!

Once you’ve had truly good coffee, anything less than is just hard to swallow.

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So far, my favorite is the Illy brand dark roast. This coffee is so good you will forevermore say no to coffee creamer and dreaded cookie flavored sugar “shots.” This coffee and bold, bare, and beautiful.

Coffee itself has also been shown to contain a good amount of antioxidants and the caffeine has the potential to raise metabolism and (maybe) protect the brain. These studies are still ongoing, but the important thing is that these potential benefits are not outweighed by dumping artificial ingredients into your morning brew.

Sorry to say, but a lot of these flavored creamers and sugar “shots” that coffee chains use contain a high amount of artificial ingredients, and usually a huge dose of sugar. A good dose of sugar without any buffers like fiber can spike your blood  sugar, later leaving to an even bigger crash and spiking your insulin ( fat storing hormone). Mix that with artificial ingredients and that leaves another problem. Most artificial ingredients our bodies don’t know how to process. So they are either excreted or stored in our fat cells. It also leaves the possibility of aggravating the body if you have an intolerance or your body doesn’t know how to process that substance.

Don’t be afraid to try something new! Good coffee can help you ditch those added sugars and artificial ingredients.

Illy offers an array of roasts and grinds so you can find your favorite!

Enjoy 🙂

Coffee & Chocolate Protein Powerhouse

What do you get when you combine coffee and chocolate?

Deliciousness.

Throw in some protein powder and a frozen banana?

MADNESS, or pure genius. You decide.

This is one of my new favorite shakes! Now, what makes it extra special is Grady’s Cold Brew coffee concentrate. This is no regular iced coffee. This is strong stuff. Grady means business.

After a long hot run or you’re looking to satisfy a sweet tooth, this is what you want. Grady’s coffee and Vega’s chocolate protein powder create an awesome flavor. Its so simple to make too!

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Coffee & Chocolate Protein Powerhouse

  • 1 banana
  • 1 packet of Vega Chocolate Protein Powder
  • 1/4 cup of Grady’s Coffee Concentrate
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

Chop banana and freeze for at least 2 hours. Combine banana, coffee, protein powder, and almond milk in blender. Blend until smooth.

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Enjoy 🙂

Happy-Tummy Parfait

So we all get those afternoon munchies. I like to combat that with a tasty parfait. 🙂

It’s fairly simple and quick. I toss in what ever fruit I have on hand. (In this case it’s organic strawberries, blueberries, and banana. ) Add some non-dairy yogurt (still has those probiotics and is lactose-intolerant friendly!). Then top it with some of my Homemade Cinnamon Maple Granola . Sometimes throw in some chia for kicks 😉 .

Chia seeds are the best. Not only are they filled with protein, iron, fiber, and healthy fats, they’re virtually tasteless. So you can add them to almost anything!

I’ve recently found that I like Nancy’s Organic Soy Yogurt. I’ve found the flavor to be better than other non-dairy yogurts I’ve tasted.  So Delicious came out with a Greek yogurt.. It wasn’t bad.. not the same as regular greek yogurt, and has a lot of fiber (40% of your daily value). I found the taste wasn’t exactly what I was looking for.

Although feel free to experiment with this parfait! It’s easily customizable, filling, and tasty. Not to mention has a good source of antioxidants, probiotics, and fiber !

*If you can eat dairy, I would suggest plain greek yogurt and adding a little maple syrup to sweeten. A lot of flavored yogurts are full of sugar and unnecessary additives- its best to just flavor your own!

Creating your own snack is so much better than that packaged vending machine nonsense 😉

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Happy Tummy Parfait

  • 3 strawberries
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/3 banana (thinly sliced)
  • 1/8 cup Homemade Cinnamon Maple Granola
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup Nancy’s Organic Soy Yogurt

Add yogurt to a bowl. Slice the banana and strawberries. Combine blueberries, banana, strawberries, and granola. Add to the bowl. Top with chia seeds.

Enjoy! 🙂