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SEE Bars

energy bars

SEE BARS – Super Easy Energy Bars: This is my new fruit and nut bars with a bit of chocolate. Cut them in bars for a trail snack to keep your energy up, or cut bite size pieces for a small snack. However you roll, these bars are a perfect punch! SEE the difference in taste by using the best ingredients and making the bar yourself; SEE the savings in not buying prepackaged goods!

BUY tip:

*Use natural cocoa, as it is higher in fat, tastes better, and will provide more energy.
*Use a high quality 85% chocolate and no less than 70%
*Look for juice sweetened dried fruit. Not absolutely necessary, but I think they taste better and you avoid processed sugar. 

ENJOY!

Energy Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Energy bar
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Energy bar for a trail snack or cut in small bites for a light treat.
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cup pitted, chopped dates
  • 2½ Tbs local honey
  • 1½ cups rolled oats, finely ground in blender or food processor
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbs. oat bran
  • 3 Tbs. ground flaxseed
  • 2 Tbs. natural cocoa
  • ½ tsp coarse salt
  • 1 c. raw almonds, coarsely chopped
  • ½ c. unsalted, toasted pistachios
  • ⅓ c. dried cranberries, preferably sweetened with juice
  • ⅓ c. dried blueberries
  • ⅓ c. dried tart cherries
  • 2 ounces chopped dark chocolate, at least 70% (I use 85%)
  • coconut or vegetable cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Spray 9 in. pan with coconut spray
  2. Place dates in small saucepan.
  3. Add enough water to just barely cover.
  4. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 mins.
  5. Set aside.
  6. Mix oats, cinnamon, oat bran, flaxseed, cocoa and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  7. Add nuts and berries and chocolate.
  8. Set aside.
  9. Dates will have absorbed most of the water by now; if more than a tbs or two remains, drain the excess.
  10. Pour dates and honey into blender or food processor and process till smooth.
  11. Pour date mixture over dry ingredients and mix until all ingredients are moist.
  12. Pat evenly into 9 in. prepared pan.
  13. Bake at 350 for 25 mins.
  14. Cool; cut into bars or small bites

 

Friday-Foodie

Friday Foodie: Breakfast or Snack Bar

Friday Foodie: Breakfast or Snack Bar

You are going to LOVE these. Super simple and quick to make, they are a great breakfast bar or an afternoon snack.

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Friday Foodie: Breakfast or Snack Bar
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast or Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
This is a quick and easy recipe that even your pickiest breakfast eater will enjoy.
Ingredients
  • ½ c peanut butter or almond butter
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • ½ c almonds
  • 4-7 pitted dates
  • ¼ c dried cherries,
  • 2 Tbs. natural cocoa
  • ¼ c unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ¼ c raw pepita (pumpkin) seeds
  • 1 c rolled oats (not minute or instant)
  • optional: ¼ c raisins or chopped nuts
  • optional for snack bars: ¼ c dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Line a large loaf pan with parchment paper
  3. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, stirring constantly, heat nut butter and banana until nut butter is softened and completely combined. Remove from heat.
  4. In a blender or food processor, coarsely chop almonds, dates, and cherries.
  5. Add coconut flakes and process a few seconds to break up flakes.
  6. Transfer to a bowl.
  7. Add oats and pepitas and any optionals.
  8. Pour banana mixture over dry ingredients.
  9. Stir till combined.
  10. Press into loaf pan.
  11. Bake for 30 mins.
  12. Allow to cool before cutting.
  13. breakfast bars or cut into bite size pieces for a healthy snack.

 

Acorn squash stuffed with wild rice, pecans and cherries

Friday Foodie: Acorn Squash stuffed with wild rice, cherries and pecans

Acorn Squash

Winter squash of all kinds abound this time of year, but Acorn is one of my favs! It’s small, so it cooks  a little faster, and half is the perfect serving size, especially when stuffed with something yummy! First things first though, start by preparing the rice and while the rice is cooking prepare and bake the squash. The rice makes enough to stuff at least four halves.

cherries chopped

To make the rice stuffing, prepare a 12 ounce package of wild rice of your choice. I did mine with 1/2 cup of plain wild rice and 1 cup of brown basmati rice. I added 1/2 tsp of dried sage, a minced clove of garlic, and a diced shallot to the mix and prepared the rice in my rice cooker using vegetable broth instead of water. This takes 45 mins to an hour in my rice cooker, but I don’t mind the extra time as the rice is so nicely steamed and absorbs all the flavors. When the rice was finished, and the cooker went into warm mode, I added 1/2 cup of chopped cherries.

pecans chopped

Right before stuffing the squash, stir in the chopped pecans. While the rice is cooking follow the steps below for preparing the squash.

Split Acorn squash

Cut squash in half using a sturdy knife. I use my Global for all the tough jobs. Scoop the seeds and strings out and discard.

Acorn squash ready for oven

Place halves, cut side down on prepared baking sheet. I cover mine with foil and spread on a thin layer of coconut oil. This adds a nice taste to the squash, but any oil will do. Bake in 450 degree oven for about 40 mins. or until skin is easily pierced with the tip of a knife.

Acorn squash baked

The coconut oil crisps up the tops just how I like them.

Acorn squash stuffed with wild rice, pecans and cherries

Stuff with rice mixture. And voila! Enjoy this incredible mix of deliciousness!

Friday Foodie: Acorn Squash stuffed with wild rice, cherries and pecans
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Acorn squash is a gem, with it's compact size, it cooks up nice and half is the perfect size for a serving.
Ingredients
  • 2 Acorn Squash
  • 12 ounce package of wild rice mix
  • vegetable broth to replace water called for in rice mix
  • ½ tsp dried sage
  • 1 chopped shallot
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ c chopped cherries
  • ½ c chopped pecans
Instructions
  1. Set oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Prepare rice, adding sage, garlic, salt, and shallot to rice cooker.
  3. Use vegetable broth in place of water.
  4. If preparing on stove, sauté shallot and garlic before adding to rice.
  5. While rice is cooking prepare squash.
  6. Line baking sheet with foil and if desired, rub coconut oil over area designated for squash halves.
  7. Cut each squash in half.
  8. Scoop out seeds and strings; discard.
  9. Place cut side down on baking sheet.
  10. Bake for 40 mins. or until shell is easily pierced with tip of knife.
  11. When rice is done, add cherries and allow to steam for a few minutes.
  12. When squash is done, add pecans to rice, and then scoop large spoonful into each half.
  13. Serve and enjoy!

 

Friday Foodie: Chocolate banana muffins with cherries (vegan and low in gluten)

I decided to experiment and see if I could come up with a chocolate muffin that is vegan and low in gluten. (Barley cannot be considered gluten free, but it is very low in gluten and a good choice for those who are gluten sensitive, but not for those with Celiac disease.) I think I have found the perfect combo of ingredients to do just that. These are moist and delicious, and though not a low cal food, they offer you a chocolate fix as delicious as any gluten, dairy packed muffin.

Cream together the banana and almond butter.

Add the agave and flax mixture. This takes the place of eggs.

Mix together the dry ingredients and add to the wet ingredients.

Before the dry ingredients are completely mixed in, add the chips and cherries. This prevents the batter from being over mixed, which results in tough muffins.

Divide into a 12 cup muffin tin. Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 mins.
Enjoy for dessert or a breakfast treat!

Friday Foodie: Chocolate banana muffins with cherries (vegan and low in gluten)
Author: 
Recipe type: Muffins, Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
A chocolate muffin that is vegan and low in gluten.
Ingredients
  • Chocolate Banana Muffins with Cherries
  • ¾ c coconut milk or almond milk
  • ½ c almond butter
  • 1 c mashed ripe banana
  • ¼ c agave syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbs flax meal
  • 1 c oat flour*
  • 1 c barley flour
  • ½ c natural cocoa powder
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ c tart dried cherries
  • ½ - ¾ c dark chocolate chips
  • optional: ¼ of date sugar may be added to the dry ingredients for a sweeter muffin though I don’t think it makes a big difference.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 12 muffin tin with a nonstick cooking spray, preferably Canola oil.
  2. In a small bowl, combine vanilla, agave syrup and flax meal.
  3. Whisk together banana, almond butter and milk in large bowl.
  4. In another bowl mix all dry ingredients.
  5. Mix flax meal, syrup and vanilla into banana mixture.
  6. Fold dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and before completely folded in, add chocolate chips and cherries. If you over work a muffin batter, the muffins will be tough.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of muffins comes out clean.
  8. *You can make your own oat flour by placing about 1½ cups rolled oats in blender and chopping till powdery. It will not be as smooth as regular flour, but that’s okay. This adds some texture to the muffin. Do not use instant oats.