Homemade Larabars

I’m always on the hunt for on-the-go bars. Not only should they taste delicious, but the perfect bar must be made of real, whole foods. Larabar gets an A in my book because of their minimal ingredients – real, whole food that we’re all familiar with…which also means that they’re pretty easy to recreate, customize, and they involve no baking whatsoever. Shall we?

Homemade Larabars: (makes 10 bars)

Ingredients:

  • 10 dates
  • 2 generous tablespoons nut butter (peanut, almond, or cashew butter are all great)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • dash of sea salt
  • water as needed
  • totally optional modifications:
    • 1/3 cup oats (for a serving of healthy carbs)
    • 2 tablespoons cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips
    • 2 tablespoons coconut butter or shredded coconut
    • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds (for added protein)
    • 2 tablespoons high quality protein powder (for added protein)
    • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup (for picky kids with a serious sweet tooth)
    • replace 1/2 of dates with other dried fruit of choice, like apricots or goji berries
    • 1/4 cup blueberries for blueberry flavor

Add all ingredients (except water) to food processor and mix. If mixture is too dry to stick together, add a teaspoon of water and continue to blend. Once mixture is consistent, transfer to a square pan or glass container and smoothly spread it as evenly as possible. Refrigerate for at least two hours. Remove and cut into square or rectangular bars and remove bars as you wish (ideally with a flat metal spatula.) You can either keep in same container or individually wrap bars for travel. Enjoy a bar as a snack, pre-workout energy boost, or a sweet treat!

One Healthy Breakdown: oh the possibilities with homemade Larabars!

Candace’s Paleo Energy Bites

When I saw the recipe for these energy bites on Facebook, I knew one thing: had to have ’em. Thanks to Candace for sharing her recipe, we can all have Paleo energy bites any time we want! Enjoy these tasty little bites of nothin but superfoods and superfuel!10494815_10202279531089980_7917817642464921192_nCandace’s Paleo Energy Bites:

  • 1 cup nuts of choice (I use a mix)
  • 1 1/2 cup any unsweetened dried fruit (figs, cherries, dates, apricots, etc. or a mixture)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Combine ingredients in food processor until uniform. Wrap whole mixture in Saran wrap and refrigerate for an hour or so. Remove and roll into balls or “smush” into a pan to make bars. Best stored in the fridge.

One Healthy Breakdown: thanks Candace, for these powerful Paleo bites!

Lean Green Mean ICE CREAM!

What do we want? ICE CREAM!

When do we want it? EVERY DAY!

image(15)Now we can have the good stuff every day without a care in the world! Here are my two favorite healthy ‘ice cream’ recipes that seem indulgent but are just as nutritious as they are delicious! Just blend the following in a high-speed blender or food processor, dig in, and enjoy! Because a life without ice cream is not a life for me!

Green Banana FroYo:

  • 1.5 frozen bananas
  • 1/3 cup frozen spinach (optional. yes, this will turn your dessert green, but you won’t even taste it!)
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup (optional)

Protein Ice Cream:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/3 cup yogurt of choice (Greek for protein, coconut/almond for non-dairy)
  • 1/2 scoop organic protein powder of choice (chocolate or vanilla both work deliciously!) or sub for 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon maca powder (optional)
  • handful of spinach
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup (optional)

Toppings/Mix-ins:

  • cacoa nibs
  • chia seeds
  • hemp seeds
  • dark chocolate chips
  • nut butter
  • nuts
  • mint leaves
  • berries
  • fruit slices
  • pomegranate seeds
  • shredded coconut
  • healthy cereal
  • dried fruit

SCOOP up the goodness any time of day…yes, you can even have ice cream for breakfast with these healthy recipes!

One Healthy Breakdown: We ALL scream for ice cream!

Green Cauliflower Mash

Have you heard?! Cauliflower is the new mashed potatoes. Yup, move over boring old starchy potatoes, you’ve been replaced by cauliflower. For 2/3 fewer calories and carbs, this cruciferous veg is low on the glycemic index and packed with vitamins.photo(150)In a food processor, combine:

  • 1/2 head cauliflower, steamed and cut into pieces
  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 1 handful arugula
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 teaspoon miso
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened milk of choice (I used cashew milk)
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • optional: for added protein, add 1/4 cup chickpeas, tofu, or plain Greek yogurt

Blend until you have a light zesty, green mixture and enjoy! Cauliflower mash makes the perfect side dish, snack, or small meal. To make plain (white) cauliflower mash, simply remove the arugula, basil, and avocado and replace with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Some may not even realize the potatoes are missing…

One Healthy Breakdown: goodbye mashed potatoes…sorry to say, I won’t miss ya a bit.

Homemade Nut Butter

Homemade nut butter. Why didn’t I do this sooner?! Ever since I hopped on the almond butter train, I’ve been shocked by the price (over $20!) of organic, almond butter! When you go through the good stuff as fast as I do, that’s quite an investment. So, I started to wonder if I could ever be one of those really cool people who make their OWN nut butter. From scratch. At home. I did a little research on best practice and gave it a whirl. Literally. It worked like a charm. So, I kept it up and now I rarely buy jars at the store anymore. There are so many fun combinations of nut butter to try!

almondbutterHere’s how: Use about 1 cup of nuts for about 1 jar of nut butter and a strong blender or Vitamix. Just blend away. Check every so often to spoon mixture from sides (if it all builds up on the side, the blade will start to burn out.) It takes about 10 minutes for the oils to come out and take the mixture from powder to smooth and silky buttah. Watch my very own almond butter video here and enjoy!

You can make nut butter out of:

    • Almonds
    • Cashews
    • Walnuts
    • Peanuts
    • Sunflower seeds (and most other seeds!)
    • Hazelnuts
    • Macadamia nuts
    • Pecans
    • A whole lot more!

Feel free to mix and match. If you love the taste of roasted nuts, just roast your nuts before blending. Lastly, if you like your nut butter crunchy like me, add in some nuts at the end for one last ‘blend.’

Try some add-ins to really get creative:

Sea salt
Dark chocolate chips
Unsweetened coconut
Banana (keep refrigerated after)
Cacoa powder
Carob chips
Cinnamon
Honey
Maple syrup
Sea salt
Vanilla extract
Pretzels
Pumpkin puree
Cranberries
Raisins
Goji Berries

One Healthy Breakdown: you’re nuts if you don’t try this at home!