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Gluten Free Chocolate Oat Bars

What do you reach for when craving a snack?

I’m sure most of us crave something sugary, or salty during that 3pm crash. If you haven’t nourished yourself all day with the right amounts of nutrients, and your on your second pot of coffee by 3pm; there’s a good chance sugar and salt are on your mind!

I’ve been thereโ€ฆ we’ve all been there, and it’s time to get outta there!

Fruits, nuts, seeds, a protein shake; these are all great snacks to have mid day. I always encourage my clients to reach for a whole food option when it comes to snacking. No prepackaged special K bar is good in my books. And to think, as a teenager I used to eat those! My I’ve come a long way ๐Ÿ˜‰

These bars are just what you need for that afternoon fix. In fact, they are full of nutrients and goodness, that they would be great along side a bowl of fruit in the morning for your kids, before sending them off to school. I meanโ€ฆ don’t you think it’s time to ditch the pop tarts?!

So let’s get to it…

Image 1

 

Gluten Free Chocolate Oat Bars
(recipe adapted from Joyous Health Book)

Ingredients:

2 and 1/2 cups wheat free rolled oats ( I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1 cup chocolate whey protein powder (I use Progressive Organic Whey)
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup chocolate chips (optional, but great for extra sweetness for kids! I like Enjoy Life chocolate chips)
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1/4 cup coconut sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground vanilla bean
1 cup raw almond butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup almond or coconut milk
2 tbsp real maple syrup

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a large baking dish with coconut oil.
In a large bowl, combine oats, protein powder, sesame seeds, coconut, chocolate chips, walnuts, sugar, cinnamon and ground vanilla; mix well. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt almond butter and coconut oil together. Add to dry ingredients and quickly stir. Then add almond milk and maple syrup and mix well. Stir until well combined. Pour batter into prepared baking dish and press down evenly with hands. Bake for approximately 15 minutes. Remove from oven, keep oven on, and let batter cool slightly for about 10 minutes. Then cut into desired pieces and place on a cookie sheet. Cutting the batter into bars may get crumbly. Be careful when transferring them to a cookie sheet. Transfer back to oven and bake for another 12 minutes, until edges of bars start to crisp up.

These bars are amazing as is, or you can crumble them like granola and serve over your favourite sheeps yogurt or with some homemade almond milk.

Happy Baking ๐Ÿ™‚

To Your AWESOME Health & Abundance,
Samantha xoxo

 

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Creamy Vegan Garlic Caesar Dressing

Image 7Love garlic?

If so, you’ll love this recipe! Of course, you can always modify the below ingredients, but I love garlic, so more is better!

This recipe came together on the whim. I was craving for a caesar salad, but didn’t have any dressing. So I whipped together this recipe and was surprised by how delicious and easy it was!

It’s super creamy and loaded with flavour. Plus, it’s vegan. No eggs or anchovies needed.

I served this dressing over chopped romaine and lacinato kale. I topped my salad with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and a sprinkling of parmesan. Feel free to get creative with your own salad ingredients. Nothing beats experimenting in the kitchen!

Enjoy ๐Ÿ˜‰

Creamy Vegan Garlic Caesar DressingIngredients

ยผ cup walnuts
ยผ cup olive oil
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp herbamare (sea salt and dried herb seasoning)
Juice of 1 lemon
3 garlic cloves

Directions

Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend together. Depending on how you like the texture, you can add a little extra olive oil or water to thin out the dressing. Some extra lemon juice may also do the trick.

*Dressing will last in the fridge for 5 days. You can use leftovers as a veggie dip!

 

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Chocolatey Black Bean Brownies

Image 2Simple, easy, and mess free!

These brownies are so easy to make. Pile all your ingredients into a food processor and viola! You’ve got delicious brownie batter made from BLACK BEANS!

Yesโ€ฆya heard right! These brownies are made with heart healthy, fibrous black beans. I was shocked at how moist they were! They are absolutely delicious and will become a new dessert staple of mine ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m prepping for a Women’s Seminar next week and need to introduce them to easy and simple ways to prepare gluten free goodies, minus all the expensive gluten free flours out there. Let’s face it, almond flour, coconut flour; as much as these are staples in my baking, they can be quite costly.

So if you need a chocolate fix that won’t break the bank, make these brownies!

Black beans are packed with protein and fiber, two key macronutrients that help to keep you fuller for longer. This is also beneficial for balancing blood sugar levels.

“One cup of black beans provides over 4 grams of soluble fiber, and this is precisely the type of fiber that researchers have found especially helpful in lowering blood cholesterol levels. Decreased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and myocardial infarct (MI, or heart attack) have both been associated with increased intake of soluble fiber from food” – WHF.

In just 1 cup of black beans, you’ll get a super dose of magnesium, B1, folate and iron. All nutrients essential for your health. Not to mention the extra magnesium and antioxidant boost you’ll get from the added cacao powder!

Now let’s get backing!

Gluten Free Chocolatey Black Bean Brownies

Ingredients:

1 14oz. can black beans (I use Eden Organic)
3 organic eggs
ยฝ cup of cacao powder
ยฝ cup coconut oil, softened (room temp)
ยฝ cup coconut sugar
ยฝ cup of dark chocolate chips
1 tsp ground vanilla bean or vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
ยฝ teaspoon of baking soda
ยฝ cup roughly chopped walnuts (optional)

Directionsโ€จ
1. Preheat oven to 350Fโ€จand grease a brownie pan with coconut oil.
2. Add all ingredients except walnuts to a food processor and puree to create your batter.
3. Add batter to brownie pan and gently stir in walnuts.
4. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

 

Other ingredient options:

– Add 1/3 cup dried cherries for extra sweetness

– Try using ยฝ cup maple syrup instead of coconut sugar

– Butter works well instead of coconut oil

– High quality cocoa powder can substituted for cacao

– Top with toasted coconut flakes

 

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