Superfood Granola Bars Made Simple

Posted on April 16, 2013. Filed under: Food Made Simple, Health | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Food - Granola Bars 1                         Food - Granola Bars 2

We ran out of the first batch of these so fast I had to whip up another so they were on hand for this busy work week.  They are really nice to grab and go and know you have something satisfying and healthy.  They are just a little sweet, enough to feel like a treat without producing a blood sugar storm.  They whip up in a flash, too!


10 large pitted medjool dates

1/4 C. + 1 t. melted coconut oil

1/4 C. nutmilk (or I was lazy here and used a heaping T. of tahini and some water)

2 T. chia seeds

1 T. vanilla extract

Process above in food processor to make a paste. Add the next group if you have a large processor, otherwise transfer to stand mixer.

1 1/2 C. rolled oats

1/2 C. healthy flours (I used a mixture of buckwheat and millet)

1/4 C. shelled hemp seeds

3/4 t. baking soda

½ t. salt

Mix well with the first group. Then add right at the end:

1/4 C. cacao nibs

1/3 C. mini dark chocolate chips or pieces hand-chopped to be small

Spread into a bar pan.  Batter will be very stiff.  Use a piece of waxed paper to press the mass into place.  Cut with knife or pastry cutter into the size you want.  I like them small so I can eat 2.  It’s a mental thing with me!  Bake at 350° for about 15 minutes.  A little shorter time for softer bars, a little on the long side for crunchy bars.  You decide!

Food - Granola Bars 3

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Vegan Pancakes Made Simple

Posted on March 30, 2013. Filed under: Food Made Simple, Health | Tags: , , , , , |

 Food - Vegan Pancakes

I wanted something a little special for Easter weekend here. I also wanted to try out chia seeds as an egg replacer.  My third reason for making these was to try to include my little dog, Charlie, in our breakfast.  He is allergic to eggs so if I could pull these off he could take a break from his usual oatmeal breakfast.  So I took a simple recipe I already had and adapted it.  I was not expecting much, but these were really excellent!  I am amazed at how well the chia seeds stood in for eggs.  I only ate 2 of these and I’m satisfied.  I have lost 5 pounds in the last month and I wouldn’t be surprised if chia seeds have a lot to do with that!  I’m fuller longer and I don’t crave sugar.  I see how they help stabilize the blood sugar.  Charlie was impressed!  His pancake disappeared in a flash!

2 C. flour (.5 white, 1.5 mixed buckwheat, oat, etc.)

3 t. baking powder (buy the good stuff without any aluminum in it)

.5 t. sea salt

2 T. turbinado sugar

3 T. melted coconut oil

1.25 C. rice milk or so, keep adding until it makes a nice batter consistency

2 T. chia seeds plumped in water for a few minutes

Put first 4 ingredients in a bowl (the dry ingredients).  Drizzle oil all over in the bowl, add chia and rice milk.  Stir until everything is mixed.  Add rice milk if necessary.  Heat a cast iron pan on medium-high.  Coat with coconut/olive oil.  Use a big cookie scoop or heaping teaspoon to spoon batter into pan.  Turn after pancakes puff up a bit.  Enjoy with fruit, real maple syrup, etc.  Reheat leftovers in a toaster oven for a quick breakfast the next day!

Food - Chia as Egg Replacer          001

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Superfoods – The Stash Builds

Posted on March 29, 2013. Filed under: Food Made Simple, Health | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Food - Superfoods

I met with my doc yesterday and we both agree that veganism is just too hard!  That said, I am eating no red meat nor dairy, and very little animal products at all.  Some days are vegan for me, but I’m not killing myself to keep it up.  So all in all I have still reduced the inflammatory load on my system by making my diet very clean.  On top of that, I’ve boosted my intake of this new category of foods known as superfoods which are chock full of nutrients the body loves.

Here is my growing stash:  nutritional yeast (yummy, rich flavor component to put on salads), chia seeds (for smoothies and oatmeal – 1 T. keeps me full for hours!), hemp seeds (so delicious as is, but an easy addition to a salad and/or smoothie), goji berries (crunchy and good for a little snack – little because they are very expensive!), and golden berries (puckery tart and chewy, also pricey, so small quantities.)

It’s been fun to play with these new foods.  I’m still enjoying the Superfood Kitchen book and now I’m looking forward to Julie Morris’ new book on using superfoods in smoothies.  Today I made a rice milk, frozen strawberry/blueberry/kale, stevia, vanilla, chia/hemp smoothie.  I wondered if the kale would kill it with yucky greens taste, but no, I couldn’t even tell it was in there!

By the way, I had a cholesterol test done at the local Walmart clinic because I didn’t want any dubious results in my medical record since I pay for my own insurance and it could be disastrous if I got a bad result recorded in my record.  So, I was Mary Smith for the day and for 70 bucks I found out I have a perfect cholesterol panel and perfect glucose as well.  The nurse practitioner said, “I wish I had numbers like these.”  I replied, “That’s a lot of vegetables and exercise!”  She admitted, then, that she should give up junk food.  Well, at least there was an acknowledgement that my lifestyle has at least contributed to those numbers!

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Chia Seeds

Posted on March 27, 2013. Filed under: Food Made Simple, Health | Tags: , , , , , |

Food - Chia Seeds

Continuing on my superfood path, today I added Chia seeds to my morning oatmeal.  This 1 lb. bag provides 35 servings (1 T. each) for $8.49.  This means per serving I’m paying about $0.24. In that serving I am getting a nice dose of protein, omega-3 essential fatty acid, an abundance of antioxidants, a nice blend of minerals and some vitamins.  The fiber content is impressive at 5 grams, that’s 20% of my daily requirement!  Thrown into oatmeal, it gave a nice little crunch with no discernible flavor.

Chia seeds will absorb 9 times their weight in water meaning they expand inside you and make you feel full longer.  Great for anyone trying to control their weight.  As they expand they plump up and form a gel around each seed (remember painting the soaked seeds on the chia pet?)  This is reminiscent of an egg and it will bind like an egg if you soak the seeds first and then add to baking.  Nice for anyone avoiding eggs in their diet.

Normally I get hungry mid-morning even with a solid breakfast like oatmeal.  Not today!  The chia seeds kept me filled up until lunch.  I think these are now a daily addition to my diet.  Next I’m going to try them in fruit smoothies.

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