Brown Rice Crisp Granola Bars

Brown Rice Puff Granola Bars

These pretty little babies are gluten-free, refined sugar free… and technically if you want to remove the dark chocolate chips/drizzle (I think not) they can be dairy-free. YUM YUM YUMMMM.

Ingredients (Makes ~ 8-10 bars) :

1 1/2 cup Cocoa flavour Brown Rice Cacao Crisps Cereal from One Degree Organic Foods
1 1/2 cup Hilray Gluten-free oats
1/3 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1/3 cup natural almond butter (from Farmboy)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp natural honey
1/2 cup pitted dates, microwave for 40 seconds with 1 tbsp of water to soften, then mash
3 tbsp egg whites
1 tsp ground sea salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (1/4 cup for in the mix + 1/4 cup for drizzle on top)

Directions:
1. Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl.
2. Preheat oven to 350F.
3. Microwave 1/2 cup of dates (7-10 pitted dates) for 40 seconds until softened. Mash thoroughly. Add to bowl.
4. Add the rest of the wet ingredients with thorough mixing. Add in 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips.
5. In a baking pan lined with parchment paper, bake for ~30 minutes until the edges are browning.
6. Melt the rest of the dark chocolate chips and drizzle on top of the bars once they are slightly cooled. Grind sea salt on the top and voila!
7. ENJOY 🙂

Nutrition Facts (per 1 serving): 180 calories, 10g fat, 5.3g protein, 21.7 carbohydrates.

**Tip of the day: Don’t be afraid of FAT on the label. If it is real food with REAL ingredients, the fat can be very beneficial to your health. We all need fat in our diet. Fat is essential to protect our body’s cells, is a primary source of energy  (especially in those who do endurance training), and unsaturated fats play an important role in heart health.**

Trail-Mix Energy Bites

Do you ever hit a wall mid-afternoon? Looking for a quick pick me up to grab on the go and get you over that mid-day slump? Try my Energy Bite Cookies. With a mixture of nuts, raisins, oats, coconut, and much more… you will get a combo of healthy fats, natural sugars, and protein that will satisfy you until your next meal.
126 calories per serving + all the nutritional benefits!  

Trail Mix Energy Bite cookies

Ingredients: 
1 1/2 cup large flake oats (I use Hilray Gluten-Free Oats)
1/3 cup brown rice flour or flour of choice (I use One Degree Organic Foods flour)
1/4 cup baking powder
1/4 cup pecan halves
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (I use Silk Unsweetened)
2 tbsp natural maple syrup
2 tbsp natural almond butter, softened
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted (Nutiva is my fav choice.. you can find this at Costco)
2 tbsp natural bee honey
1/2 cup dates (~10 pitted dates), microwave for 40 secs with 1 tbsp water, mash.
1 egg
1/2 tsp ground sea salt
Optional: 2 tbsp dark chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Combine all ingredients into a large bowl. Mix thoroughly.
3. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
4. Using your clean hands, form into small cookies (Should make ~16).
5. Bake for ~15-20 minutes until beginning to brown.
6. Let cool…. and enjoy!

Per one cookie made with dark chocolate chips:
126 calories, 4.6 grams fat, 17.5 carbohydrate, 2.6g protein

Why should you include nuts in your diet? CLICK HERE to learn more.

 

Plain & Simple Popsicles

I discovered the best Popsicles in Vientiane on the weekend. They are handmade here in Laos and only include natural ingredients…..fruit fruit fruit coconut meat and coconut water! 

If you are like me and try to avoid added sugars – you will know that commercially made popsicles are PACKED with refined sugars and many other ingredients. However, on a hot day (it’s 31 degrees here), I always crave something cold and refreshing. At home my go-to popsicles are the “Healthy Choice” brand fudgesicles (found at Costco) or I head to Chil  to get froyo on Richmond St. Downtown London, ON. They make amazing frozen greek yogurt with many options for those who are lactose free (almond milk base, quinoa milk base etc).

Here in Laos, finding popsicles or refreshing frozen yogurt that are natural and don’t contain added sugars is rare…. until NOW!

popsicle

I am so excited. I will definitely be making these at home and you definitely should too.

The flavour that I chose was coconut water + chunks of coconut meat. However, they had many other flavours – coconut water +mango, kiwi + strawberry, mango +coconut chunks, any fruit you can think of. These will be simple to make at home. If you have a plastic Popsicle mold (find at Walmart… grocery stores.. anywhere)… you are set!

MAKE YOUR OWN – you will need: 

  • Popsicle mold (find at large department store with kitchenware)
  • Frozen or fresh fruit of choice, chopped (I choose frozen mango chunks, coconut chunks, frozen raspberries)
  • Coconut water (Choose an all-natural brand of coconut water. Avoid one’s with added flavourings or sugars. If you can get your hands on a real coconut for coconut water…. even better!!!)

*Add the fruit of choice into each popsicle mold. Pour in the coconut water to fill. Freeze 🙂

Especially in the heat of the summer or after a sweaty workout – coconut water is a great natural way to replace lost electrolytes (potassium & sodium). And really…what better way to hydrate and replenish than with a nice refreshing popsicle? 🙂

Happy Tuesday from Laos!

Until next time.

xo

B

 

Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Popcorn! #YUM

Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Popcorn

I combine two of my FAVOURITE foods! Popcorn + Dark Chocolate. 

Try it out:

  • In a popcorn machine or in a pot on the stove, made your own popcorn in 1 -2tbsp coconut oil (depending on how much you want to make).
  • Spread the popcorn on parchment paper on the kitchen counter.
  • Melt dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao) and drizzle all over the popcorn.
  • Distribute ground sea salt to taste.
  • Allow this to sit and harden on the counter…. or don’t wait and eat it warm and gooey with chocolate! and ENJOY.

Why do I choose to make my own homemade popcorn versus microwave bagged popcorn? Make your own popcorn at home with plain popping kernels – it is just as fast and saves you from consuming hydrogenated oils, trans fats, artificial colors, artificial flavours, unneeded sodium, and much more.

Why choose dark chocolate (>70% cacao) and not regular dark or milk chocolate? Dark chocolate and cocoa powder are the least processed forms of chocolate. Therefore, they contain the highest flavonoid content (an antioxidant). As an antioxidant, flavonoids help repair damaged body cells, fight free radical damage, and may help reduce the risk of heart disease.

(Milk chocolate and white chocolate are very poor sources of flavonoids).

Coconut Crunch Bark

dark chocolate bark - onedegree

Making your own chocolate bark is so simple and fun because you can make it with whatever you like!

For this bark I used OneDegree Foods Veganic Sprouted Ancient Maize Flakes cereal and coconut smiles…aka dehydrate coconut pieces (you can find these at Farmboy, Whole Foods, bulk food stores, etc).

Directions:

  • Melt desired amount of dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao).
  • Coat over the cereal flakes and coconut smiles in a tupperware container.
  • Store in the freezer until hardened.
  • Put into a Ziploc bag and break into pieces and enjoy 🙂

Store in the refrigerator.

dark chocolate bark - one degree

 

Date “Caramel” Candy Apples – A Healthy Twist on Caramel Apples

Date Apples1

Making a healthier twist and the standard “caramel”/candy apple. This date mix can be used as a lower fat dip for apples (instead of a peanut butter) or as a coating to make candy apples like I did!

Date Apples 2

Ingredients:
2 cups dates, pitted and mashed
3/4 cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp raw sugar (or coconut sugar)

Directions:
1. In a microwave safe container, the pitted dates should be microwaved for 40 seconds with 1/4 cup water to soften and help make mashing easier.

2. In vitamix (or blender) add the mashed dates, maple syrup, vanilla, and raw sugar.
Add in the almond milk slowly as you blend.

3. Coat on apples and roll in your favourite toppings. OR just dip your apples 🙂
ENJOY!
Date Apples 3

CocoNUTTY Dark Chocolate Bark

toasted coconut bark

Ingredients:
1 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
~2 cups of dark chocolate wafers, melted

Directions:
Turn stove top on to low heat. Melt 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a small pan.
Once melted, add in shredded coconut, chopped pecans, slivered almonds.
Toss these ingredients throughout the pan, rotating regularly.
Toast until brown (~5-10 minutes).
Remove this mixture from the heat. Put onto parchment paper in a flexible (tupperware) container.
Add the dark chocolate to the skillet now. Stir the chocolate on low unil completely melted.
Once the chocolate is melted, pour it into the container to coat the nut mixture.
Using a spatula to spread the chocolate evenly to cover the entire mixture.
Put in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes until it has hardened.
Break into “bark” pieces.
Store in the refrigerator.