German Chocolate Protein Bars

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Easy homemade copycat LARABAR

I love protein bars. As a healthy snack, after a workout or just a grab-n-go form of good nourishment. When I buy them, I like the brand LARABAR because of the basic ingredients and no additives. They can be expensive so I make them at home. They have limited ingredients and are super easy to make. 

The German Chocolate Protein Bars are probably my favorite because I'm basically addicted to dark chocolate.

Grind oats
Add all ingredients in food processor
Process until thoroughly mixed

Add water as needed so it forms a dough like consistency 
Press into dish and refrigerate for 2 hours

German Chocolate Protein Bars (LARABARS)

1 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup chocolate protein powder
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup medjool dates pitted - about 9  (soak for 30 mn.)
3/4 cup pecans
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut
1 1/2 tsp vanilla 
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 + cup water
2 tbs chocolate chips (optional)

-Grind oats in food processor
-Add remaining ingredients
-Process till forms a soft dough (adding water if needed)
-Empty dough into pan lined with wax or parchment paper
-Spread and pat down with hand or spatula about 1/2" thick
-Refrigerate for 2+ hours
-Lift out of pan with paper and turn onto cutting board
-Cut into desired sized bars

Dash of Wisdom: Try them....You'll love them!

Valentine's Pink Smoothie

Friday, February 12, 2016

Love is in the air and in this scrumptious smoothie! The cashews make it so smooth and the dates add a wonderful sweetness. It is packed full of vitamins, minerals and electrolytes. A powerhouse breakfast smoothie that comes in around 450 calories (if your counting).

With superfood ingredients, this smoothie is a must try for you.

  • Potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron; vitamins A, B & C; beta-carotene, beta-cyanine; folic acid
  • Cleanse the body - works as a purifier for the blood
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Help your mental health - contain betaine, the same substance that is used in certain treatments of depression. It also contains trytophan, which relaxes the mind and creates a sense of well-being
  • Great mineral source, cashews contain 31% of the daily recommended value for copper, 23% for manganese, 20% for magnesium and 17% for phosphorus, and 12% of the daily recommended value for vitamin K 
  • Rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins and dietary fiber
  • Source of carotenes and vitamin-A
  • Minerals like copper, calcium, potassium, manganese and phosphorus
  • Help burn stored fat - the red coloring contains anthocyanins, which stimulate the burning of stored fat
  • Low in Calories – High in fiber
  • Ease inflammation
  • Lower cardiovascular disease
  • Flavonoids — which are responsible for the color and flavor of strawberries — lower the risk for heart disease
  • Contain potassium, vitamin K and magnesium which are important for bone health
Coconut Water
  • Source of B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates
  • Studies suggest that cytokinins in coconut water were found to have significant anti-ageing, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic 
  • Very good amount of electrolyte potassium
  • Minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc 
put all ingredients into high speed blender

that's a lot of pink going on in there!

Pink Smoothie

1 1/2 cup coconut water
2 medium carrots
1/4 raw beet (I quarter and freeze mine)
1/4 cup raw cashews (soaked)
1/4 cup dates - about 4 medjool dates (pitted)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup frozen strawberries

Put all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend for about 1 1/2 minutes.

Dash of Wisdom: Surprise your Valentine with this luscious smoothie for breakfast!

One of the first known uses of beets was by the ancient Romans, who used them medicinally as an aphrodisiac. And that’s the honest truth – science backs it up. Beets contain high amounts of boron, which is directly related to the production of human sex hormones. Who'd have thought?

Homemade Maple Cranberry Granola

Thursday, February 4, 2016
I love granola, especially when it is homemade. This granola is chocked full of nuts and seeds. Full of healthy protein, fiber, omega-3 fats, vitamins and other nutrients. Homemade granola is super easy and fast to make. If you are a whole foods eater then you should have all of the ingredients in your pantry. The thing about granola is you can put just about any nut, seed, dried fruit or spice in it that you have on hand. It's very versatile and easy to make substitutions.

I love this granola because you can break it off into chunks. You definitely end up with some "crumbled" granola, but I love to be able to just grab some chucks and munch away! Granola is so good to just snack on alone or my second favorite thing to do with it, top yogurt with it. You can eat granola like cereal with a little milk of your choice, top your overnight oats with it, top your hot oatmeal with it or make homemade Lara Bars with it (recipe coming soon). So many things you can do with granola.

This is an array of nuts and seeds that I like to put in granola. Love the pepita seeds (green pumpkin seeds). They pack a whallop of fiber, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, zinc and iron.

Like I said, so easy to make. Just put all the dry ingredients into a bowl.

Add the wet ingredients and stir! Trust me, you will want to eat spoonfuls before you even bake it!

Spread it out on a parchment paper lined pan. (Don't forget the parchment me). You will love the aroma that fills your house as you bake this.

When it's done, let it cool....if you can resist not eating it hot.....and break into chucks.

You can freeze it for a couple of months or keep it in a sealed container for a couple of weeks. It won't last a couple of weeks though, it's that good! This jar is a birthday present for a friend.

Dash of Wisdom: Go ahead and make your own granola. It will be better and cheaper than store bought and much healthier.

Homemade Maple Cranberry Granola

1/2 cup almond flour/meal or grind oats to meal
1/2 cup almonds chopped
1/2 cup walnuts chopped
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
2/3 cup dried fruit - chopped (I used cranberries)
1/2 cup buckwheat groats
1/2 cup pepita seeds
1/8 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup mixed with hemp heart seeds and sesame seeds
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut
2 tsp. cinnamon - rounded
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil - melted
2 tsp. vanilla extract
*if you don't have all the different nuts and seeds then just add more of what you have

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.  Add maple syrup, melted coconut oil, vanilla and stir well. Pour mixture onto parchment paper lined sheet pan and spread with spatula. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

This granola recipe is my adaptation of Angela Liddon's ultimate nutty granola clusters at My favorite vegan blogger.