Chocolate Nut Raw Bars

blog posts

No sugar. No baking. No cheating.

Satisfy your sweet tooth with these gooey healthy, raw bars that are essentially brownies. SO GOOD. My good friend who is vegan passed along this recipe and I am so thankful she did because I take them everywhere I go. As with all healthy treats, why not eat them at any time of day? Sometimes I grab one of these before a workout or breakfast as I’m running out the door, for a snack during the day, or an after dinner indulgence.

I’m not much for measuring, so make these your own like I did and use whatever you have available. You can’t go wrong!

Ingredients:
2 cups Medjool dates, pitted
1 cup raw almonds
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 raw walnuts
3 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp group flax seed (optional)
2 Tbsp hemp seed (optional)
1/2 cup cacao nibs
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (to taste)

Directions:
In a food processor or high power blender, blend all nuts and oats until dusty. The nuts may begin to make a butter, and that’s totally normal. Pour in mixing bowl. Add your seeds to mixture, wholely. With your hands (because it’s fun), squish dates until they become a smooth, sticky ball (this should be very easy to do with fresh Medjool dates). Place ball in mixing bowl. Knead the dry ingredients with dates until evenly combined. Press ‘dough’ into an ungreased 8×8 pan. Set in fridge.

In a small pot, heat coconut oil over medium/low heat. Add cocoa powder and stir with a spatula. Add cocoa powder until texture thickens and will make a frosting-type top layer. It will thicken more when it cools. Add honey to taste (unsweetened cocoa powder is not sweet). Let sauce cool slightly, for about 30 seconds, then pour over the bars that were in the refrigerator. Spread evenly. Sprinkle cacao nibs for an extra crunch. Let bars cool in the fridge for at least 30 min before cutting. Store in an airtight refrigerated space.

Tip: Coconut oil will melt at room temp and when touching the bars. Keep cool!

Yields: About 16 barsdsc_0926

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Peanut Butter Energy Balls

Recipes

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Typically, a little bite of sweet is all I need to clench a craving. However, if that sweet is full of sugar, particularly processed, I eat way *way more than I need to and continue down an endless path of sugar cravings. These energy bites give me exactly what I crave and are the perfect on-the-go snack. Caution: may eat the whole batch at once. Notice: not healthy to consume the whole batch in one day 😉

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Very real capture of my kitchen….

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What you’ll need:

2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup natural peanut butter
3 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp flax seed (optional)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl. I use a large spoon to start, then finish by kneading with my hands. You may need to add more peanut butter or honey if it’s too dry, but make sure to fully mix first. Roll 1mix into 1 inch balls, and place in an airtight container.

Tip: Get creative! Coat balls in cinnamon or roll in coconut flakes. Swap cinnamon more pumpkin pie spice. Add nuts, dried fruit! Adding variety will make these tasty things more appetizing for a good, hearty snack. Or dessert 🙂

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Pumpkin Energy Balls

Recipes

Happy Fall! I’m taking this classic energy ball and spicing it up for the season. I use these energy balls for breakfast, pre-workout snack, mid-afternoon snack, late night snack, okay maybe I just eat them constantly throughout the day?! Although these are rather healthy and a great alternative to a sweet treat, definitely best in moderation (so keep them in the fridge and pop a couple each day throughout the week). Enjoy!

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Ingredients:
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup pumpkin puree (I use Trader Joe’s organic canned pumpkin)
1 cup all natural peanut butter
1 cup (about 5) fresh Medjool dates, pitted
4 Tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice

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Directions: 
In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except for the dates. Remove pits from dates if you haven’t already, and mush together with your hands. It may take some TLC depending on the softness of the dates. Once kneaded into a ball of “dough”, knead into the rest of the ingredients. Roll bites into a 1-inch ball (I use my hands for best results). Place in a separate container where you’re going to store them. Refrigerate for up to 10 days. Please let me know if they make it 10 whole days 😉

Yields: About 25

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Better-For-You Banana Bread

Recipes

I’m always on a mission to make traditional baked goods better for you so I can continue to indulge- guilt-free. Here’s a version of banana bread that will leave your taste buds and body feeling oh-so-happy.

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Ingredients:
1 cup coconut flour
2 ripe bananas
2 large eggs
1/3 cup almond butter
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla and/or almond extract
3 Tbsp honey
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
nuts, fruit, chocolate chips optional

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Directions:
Preheat oven to 375. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together. Spray bread pan with olive oil or rub with butter. The mix will fill about 2-3 inches. Cook for about an hour or until golden brown. Enjoy!

Pro Tip:
Enjoy warm with almond butter as a spread 🙂

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No Sugar, No Flour Pumpkin Protein Muffins

Recipes

Happy First Day of Fall! I don’t know about you, but I’m having pumpkin fever. One of my favorite parts of baking is creating new recipes or modifying existing ones to make my favorite concoctions. I’m not great at following recipes, so it’s fun to experiment with what will actually cook in the oven.

Here’s my latest.

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Protein Pumpkin Muffins (No sugar, No flour, Gluten-Free)

What you’ll need:
2 cups old fashioned oats
2 large eggs
1/2 can pure pumpkin
1/4 cup almond milk
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1tsp almond extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup honey
cinnamon
pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup raw pecans, chopped
1/2 cup Kashi Harvest cereal (totally optional!)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375. In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together. Spray muffin pan with olive oil. Fill each cup full (they don’t really expand). Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Makes 9 muffins.

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Overnight Oats

Recipes

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Do I have an obsession with oats? Possibly. Can you be mad though? No. Oats are my favorite anytime snack because you can literally mix them with just about everything. You’ll definitely be seeing more recipes including oats because, yum.

As all my recipes go, there are a million variations to keep your breakfast and snacks exciting, so you can’t really mess them up.

Ingredients-
¾ cup old fashioned oats (important: steel cut oats won’t soak up milk)
1 cup almond milk (I use unsweetened vanilla)
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp nut butter (I use almond butter)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 medium banana

In a mason jar or Tupperware (whatever you’re going to eat it out of the next day), mix ingredients (in that order), stir, refrigerate… um, that’s all! There should be excess milk when you put it in the fridge, but the oats will soak it up overnight. In the morning (or just a couple hours later), you’ll find the consistency of regular oatmeal. Served cold. Yum! For a post-workout addition, I add a little vanilla protein powder for extra taste and recovery.