You want something quick and easy to have on hand for your family. Snack bars that are healthy, with whole food ingredients you can not only name but identify. There are many good well-known brands of snack, meal and energy bars out there including LARABAR, Luna Protein, Clif MOJO, Clif Kid,Clif C, Odwalla, Kashi, etc. So in this post I have reviewed a few lesser known bars that could be a great addition to your lunch boxes and pantries including products from CocoChia, Greens Plus, Nutrobiotics, Just Great Stuff, Purefit, Raw Revolution and MacroLife.
These are so easy and versatile you will wonder why you ever payed $4-5 for a box. I know kids would love helping to make these too, they can dump all the ingredients in and stir away!
What is a chia seed you ask?
It’s a a small seed chock full of omega 3’s, fiber, protein and vitamins and minerals: calcium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, iron, niacin and zinc. It was one of the main parts of the ancient Mayan and Aztec diets. Now, athletes such as endurance runners, bikers and hiker utilize it as it is lightweight and full of slow burning energy. If placed in a liquid (like a glass of water) it begins to form a gel within 30 minutes. Researchers believe this takes place in the body, slowing the process of digestive enzymes breaking down carbs and converting them into sugars. It has been said to be beneficial to people with diabetes for this reason as well. You can also throw them in any soup or other liquid you want to thicken naturally, without the use of cornstarch or a roux.
- ½ C brown rice syrup
- ⅓ C almond butter (or pb)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup Rolled Oats
- 1½ cups Kamut puffs (or any puffed cereal)
- ¼ C chia seeds (or sunflower etc.)
- ¼ C unsweetened coconut
- handful chopped chocolate chips
- handful chopped almonds
- ¼-1/2 cup Pea Protein Powder (optional)
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- kosher salt (optional)
- cocoa nibs (optional)
- Melt your nut butter, brown rice syrup and vanilla in the microwave for about 30 seconds, stir.
- Pour over all filling ingredients in a bowl, stir until coated.
- Press into an 8x8 baking dish
- Sprinkle kosher salt and cocoa nibs over the top, press with a fork or spatula.
- Stick in the fridge for about an hour to firm up, then cut into about 8-10 bars. We wrap them individually and have a quick snack for our lunch-boxes or on the run. I make double batches often and they turn out perfectly too.
These are easy, no bake, protein bars made with healthy Brown Rice Syrup or Agave. They are chocolaty and chewy like a brownie with a little salty crunch surprise. These are quite possibly the easiest thing you will ever make. Take 5 minutes and make them, you and your children will thank me! : p
I don’t know who was more excited when I opened the Breville 900 Watt, Variable Speed Juice Extractorfor my birthday, my mother in law the gifter, or me. She was so tickled by my expression she laughed for a few minutes and knew immediately she didn’t need to give me the gift receipt.
From the Breville website:
This is a nice machine! It is powerful, easy-to-clean and FUN (oh yea it makes delicious concoctions too). I even had the gizmo obsessed husband try it out and it was reminiscent of infomercials for the Troy Built wood chipper…this baby can devour anything in 2 seconds flat! However, it is relatively quiet; you can have a conversation while it is running. A friend, Elizabeth came over to have a juicer play-date and we created a few different juices with the following washed produce:
- Carrots (cleaned of dirt)
- Beets (cleaned, trimmed)
- Apples (whole)
- Cucumbers (skinned)
This made 35 fl oz and was gorgeous to boot!
- 3 beets w/greens
- 8 carrots
- 1 large apple
The next 2 flavors were our favorites:
Apple Ginger Delight
23 fl. oz.
- 8 carrots
- 1 apple
- pinky sized piece of fresh ginger
- 2 cucumbers (made 15 oz. on their own)
- 5 pieces kale
- 1 apple
Now, what to do with all that pulp? It’s full of fiber and can be used easily in many recipes (and dogs and horses love it too). The easiest method is to place in a freezer bag and whenever you make soup, tomato sauce etc. break off a chunk and throw in.
|Pulp to go into freezer|
I also created a hummus-like bean dip using the carrot pulp and it was so yummy!
In a food processor I added:
- carrot puree,
- smoked paprika
- Greek yogurt
Blended till smooth and tasty- adjusting spices and ingredients and I went to get a creamy, yummy dip.
|This was delicious on deli pretzel crackers|
I modified this recipe slightly from Baking Illustrated’s Buttermilk Biscuits. They turned out a bit crumbly because of the cornmeal I think, but delish none-the less!! Perfect with a farmer’s market salt & peppered fried egg and smokey bacon. A typical Saturday morning with a homemade cinnamon cappuccino, 2 pups at our feet and ‘Top Chef’ on Hulu…
I made this quick breakfast pie for the parents and pastor at a baby dedication ceremony. It was easy, transported nicely and who doesn’t like a slice of pie for breakfast?
This is a delicious summery quick bread scented with lemon zest and juice. It is coated in a light lemon sugar glaze, giving it a slight crunch. I modified “Glazed Lemon Loaf” from Essentials of Healthful Cooking by William Sonoma to create it. It is lovely on a brunch menu or as a light dessert for a supper.
These are the yummiest, most perfect pancakes! They are fluffy and moist on the inside with a golden brown crust on the outside…YUM!!! I modified these from Pioneer Woman’s “Perfect Pancake” and they really are! They are so delicious and flavorful we even forwent syrup!
This is taken from Bethenny Frankel’s recipe. The first time I stayed close to her original recipe but made it into a quick bread that my husband and I ate warm from the oven like a molten fudge cake; digging our spoons into before it made it to the cooling rack…YUM. No wonder this is a favorite of Marissa Hargitay’s (Law & Order SVU ; ). The second time I added some shredded zucchini (too much!) and it wasn’t quite as fudgy, but warm and dense and crumbly. My 3rd attempt (coming soon with pictues) I will add about 1/2 cup of zucchini and it should be almost perfect! I took out the oil, cut the sugar a little and sprinkled a bit of cinnamon sugar on top to intensify the flavor.
This is a delicious, easy bread great for breakfast toast, sandwiches etc. I modified it slightly from “Essentials of Healthful Cooking” from William Sonoma (one of my favorite cookbooks for ideas : ) You can either bake free-form on a baking stone (this is why I call mine “artisan bread” lol) or in a 9×5 loaf pan for a more uniform, attractive loaf.