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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 there… 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 😉

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 mean… don’t you think it’s time to ditch the pop tarts?!

So let’s get to it…

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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 🙂

To Your AWESOME Health & Abundance,
Samantha xoxo

 

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Grilled Maple Toast w/ Apples and Almond Butter & Quinoa and Kale Stuffed Tomatoes

The weather always seems to be chilly during this long weekend; a reminder that our summers are short lived and the fall season is shortly approaching. But with fall comes an amazing bounty of incredible vegetables that I just can’t wait to cook with! In the meantime, I’m still loading up on fresh tomatoes from the garden, and local dark leafy greens like kale, used in my ultra satisfying stuffed tomato recipe!

As for brekkie…I’ve got you covered! How does grilled maple toast with almond butter and apples sound!? How about AMAZING!?! Well they are! Best of all, it’s a heart healthy, fiber filling, sweet treat that is super kid friendly for back to school breakfasts or works great as a packed lunch.

Grilled Apple-Almond Maple Toast

2 slices organic sprouted grain bread
Half an apple, thinly sliced
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tsp maple syrup
Dash of cinnamon

Spread almond butter onto bread slices. Top one slice with sliced apples, drizzle with maple syrup and sprinkle with cinnamon. Place second slice of bread on top and grilled using a sandwich maker or grill pan. Feel free to swap out apples for other fruits. Bananas and peaches would work well, apple or cashew butter would be a good swap for almond butter, get creative!

Quinoa and Kale Stuffed Tomatoes

2 large organic heirloom tomatoes, cored
1 cup quinoa, cooked
1/2 cup broccoli florets
4 dinosaur kale leaves, cut into fine ribbons
1/4 red onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Splash Tamari
Himalayan sea salt
1 tbsp olive oil
Handful toasted pine nuts (optional)
Goat cheese (optional)

1. Cook quinoa in 2 cups water with a pinch of sea salt, first rinsing quinoa well in a fine sieve
2. In a frying pan, heat olive oil and sauté garlic, onion, broccoli and kale. When kale and broccoli turn a nice dark green, add a splash of Tamari, stir through and remove from heat
3. When quinoa is cooked (12-15 mins), add it to the veggies and mix through.
4. Hollow out center of 2 large organic tomatoes and add quinoa/veg mixture. Feel free to pop the tomatoes into the oven for ten minutes to heat through, or eat as is.
Optional- add toasted pine nuts and crumbled goat cheese to stuffed tomatoes for an extra touch and deliciousness!!

This recipe is great for entertaining friends at a dinner party as it looks elegant on a plate!

Happy Labor Day Weekend!
Have a Happy and Healthy Meatless Monday!

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