Thursday, July 18, 2013

No-Bake Energy Bites

1:19 PM 0 Comments
So a few weeks back, I attempted to make homemade breakfast bars with no success whatsoever. I really wanted to find a homemade alternative to processed snack bars - I find that when I am trying to eat healthily, I all too easily fall into the trap of purchasing granola bars and energy bars which - let's be honest - just aren't all that healthy and are far more expensive that the sum of their parts. I definitely have a sweet tooth, so while I appreciate the thousands of articles recommending that I snack on almonds or celery sticks, I need a little sugar to get me by, particularly in the afternoons.

I found this recipe referenced in a magazine that my husband's cousin Ami left at the house when we were in Helena. This is the perfect opportunity to give Ami a shout-out since she informed me that she checks my blog every morning for updates - how's that for loyalty? With deepest apologies for the long, silent weeks, Ami, I thank you for leaving behind that magazine which led me to this awesome recipe! You rock!

These are crazy good. You probably have everything you need to make them right now, so walk away from your computer and go do that. There is lots of information on substitutions, etc. on the original blog which is linked below. The only thing I changed from the original recipe is the amount of coconut - my first batch seemed a bit flaky, so I cut back.

Enjoy!



No-Bake Energy Bites
adapted from Smashed Peas and Carrots

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1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla

Mix everything above in a medium bowl until thoroughly incorporated.  Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.  Once chilled, roll into balls and enjoy!  Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week. (NOTE: They will not last one week. Guaranteed.)


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Jiggity Jig

3:26 PM 0 Comments
We're home. Sigh. It was a lovely, lovely vacation, filled with family and friends and beauty and happy kids.


When it comes to food, two things happen on the flip side of a vacation: we come home with a renewed commitment to healthy eating (generally brought on by weeks of microbrewed beer consumption and an "I'm on vacation" mentality), and we always come home to a fridge so empty it takes a good week to get it back to snuff. We've been home three days now, and I've spent a fair amount of energy on the latter. There are a few things we just always like to have in the fridge: staples, like milk and bread and cheese and eggs, and homemade items, like yogurt. Since we also came home to a vegetable garden two feet taller than the vegetable garden we left, Finn and I spent a good portion of yesterday afternoon making pesto which found itself on whole wheat penne last night and will end up on a pizza later this week (while not a huge fan of packaged pizza dough, we're kind of crazy about the Pillsbury Artisan Whole Wheat Crust -- so good to have on hand!).

We ate a lot of hummus in Montana (I went to Costco for the very first time...wowzers!), but I really never tire of the stuff. It's great to have on hand when dinner isn't quite ready but the kids are already hungry. I liked the Costco stuff a lot (which is a good thing, since the container of it was ginormous), but I really like this easy recipe as well...it's super easy to throw together on a weekly basis. Feel free to add ingredients to your heart's content (olives, roasted red peppers, etc.) - I'm somewhat of a hummus purist, but you can easily customize this basic recipe.

Happy summer, all!

Quick Hummus

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1 16 oz. can chickpeas
~1/4 cup liquid from the can
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp tahini
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil

Throw garlic cloves into the food processor and pulse to mince. Add the chickpeas, the lemon juice, the tahini, and the olive oil. Add a bit of the liquid from the can, then a bit more, until you reach the desired consistency. Once blended, add salt to taste.

The key ingredient here is the liquid from the can. I've tried lots of hummus recipes and could never get the texture quite right. This is super yummy, super economical, and super easy to throw together. Tahini is the only unusually ingredient; however, once you buy a jar to make this once, you'll have it on hand whenever you want to make more.