BC Approved: Oh She Glows Soft & Chewy Sugar-Free Granola Bars

If you haven’t checked out Oh She Glows you’re definitely missing out. According to Angela, the creator of OSG:

My goal is to inspire others to embrace more plant-based foods in their diet without feeling deprived. And yes, my recipes are great for meat-eaters and picky kids too. Most of my recipes are gluten-free and many are allergy-friendly.

Anyway, I tried her Soft & Chewy Sugar-Free Granola Bars and was pleasantly surprised. Although they are nut-free, gluten-free and vegan, they are packed with beautiful textures and flavors. The only thing is that the bars are more of a bread-like texture than a crispy granola bar-like texture. Otherwise I definitely recommend making these portable, snacks!

Here’s her recipe:

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Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats, ground into a flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup packed pitted Medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325F and line a 9-inch square pan with two pieces of parchment paper, one going each way.
  2. Add rolled oats into a high-speed blender. Blend on highest speed until a fine flour forms. Add oat flour into a large bowl.
  3. Add water and pitted dates into blender. Allow the dates to soak for 30 minutes if they are a bit firm or your blender has a hard time blending dates smooth. Once they are soft, blend the dates and water until super smooth.
  4. Add all of the ingredients into the bowl with the oat flour and stir well until combined.
  5. Scoop the mixture into the pan and spread it out with a spatula as evenly as possible. You can use lightly wet hands to smooth it down if necessary.
  6. Bake at 325F for about 23-25 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then lift it out and transfer it to a cooling rack for another 5-10 minutes. Slice and enjoy!
  7. I suggest freezing leftovers to preserve freshness.
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Grain Free Almond Butter Cookies

I am obsessed with this recipe. If you have a friend who’s allergic to everything (like I am…) these cookies will do the trick. Okay, don’t mentally check out with the following sentence. The recipe is gluten free, grain free, oil free, sugar free, and dairy free.

Regardless of how whole the ingredients are, my roommate and I fed these to our guy friends and they ate the entire batch in record time. If my picky guy friends loved them, then they must be delicious to every palate.

Ingredients

  • 1¼ cups canned chickpeas, well-rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel1
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (165 grams) almond butter (room temperature)
  • ¼ cup (80 grams) honey (commenters have used agave and maple syrup with success!)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch of salt if your nut butter is salt free
  • ½ cup (90 grams) chocolate chips (Trader Joe’s sells vegan chocolate chips)
  •  ½ tsp of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F / 175°C. Combine all the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, in a food processor and process until very smooth. Make sure to scrape the sides and the top to get the little chunks of chickpeas and process again until they’re combined.
  2. Put in the chocolate chips and stir it if you can, or pulse it once or twice. The mixture will be very thick and sticky.
  3. With wet hands, form into 1½” balls. Place onto a Silpat or a piece of parchment paper. If you want them to look more like normal cookies, press down slightly on the balls. They don’t do much rising.
  4. Bake for about 10 minutes. The dough balls will still be very soft when you take them out of the oven. They will not set like normal cookies.
  5. Store in an airtight container at room temperature (or in the fridge) for up to 1 week

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Enjoy! And be sure to check out Texan Erin Baking for more great recipes for the holidays.

xx

How to Not Eat all of the Cookie Dough.

Holiday baking fills the house with intoxicating, sweet scents. The aroma of decadent, warm cookies brings a sense of ease and delight. Although my senses may be happy, my waistline may not be as content.

On the rare occasion that I create a sweet confection I eat a VERY generous portion of the batter or dough. First I convince myself that I need to taste test my concoction, you know, for the sake of my friends and family. One small taste turns into two dainty teaspoons, which escalates into ladles of smooth, sweet batter. This mindless eating not only downsizes my cookie yield, but also leads to a sugar coma.

If you have the same dilemma taste testing your sweet or savory creations, then this list of tactics is for you.

  1. Chew gum
  2. Brush your teeth
  3. Sip on hot herbal tea
  4. Meditate beforehand/focus on the breath during preparation
  5. Nibble on baby carrots or sliced cucumbers
  6. Blast some music and dance/sing
  7. Eat a huge salad or healthy meal before you bake, you’ll be too full to crave anything and hopefully won’t want to undo your healthy choice by eating poorly
  8. Do a 20 minute HIIT workout; some studies show interval training reduces cravings
  9. Cook or bake with a friend who has the same health goals as you, or who is willing to support you through your journey of eating nutritiously
  10. Lastly, cook or bake naked. Or nearly naked. I know it sounds absurd but you’re less likely to eat mindlessly when you have less clothing on. For me, I am less likely to order a burger on vacation if I’m wearing a bikini. But that’s just me!

Let me know if any of these tricks work for you!

Almond Ginger Sweet Potato Bowl

After sipping my morning tumeric tonic, I had an urge for a comforting, warm, winter dish. Hey, if that’s what the body wants, that what the body gets!

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Ingredients

1 sweet potato or yam
3 cups greens (I used a blend of baby kale and chard)
1 inch peeled ginger, sliced into discs
coconut oil spray
1 TBS raw almond butter
pinch of cinnamon

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Pierce the potato several times with the tines of a fork and place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Bake until tender, about 45 minutes. Alternatively, pierce with fork and put in microwave for about 6-8 minutes (depending on the size). Meanwhile, spray a small pan with coconut oil spray and cook ginger, stirring frequently. When aromatic add greens and cook until they wilt. Next, mash potato with the skin, add almond butter and blend thoroughly. Add cinnamon and greens. Remove ginger discs and enjoy!

 

Vanilla Ginger Protein Smoothie

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Ingredients

3 cups greens (spinach, kale, watercress etc)
1/2 seedless cucumber
1 cup frozen pineapple
1/2 cup frozen mango
1 scoop vanilla whey (About Time is the cleanest, but can leave a bitter aftertaste)
1″ knob of ginger, peeled
Water

Directions

Place washed greens into high speed blender with 1/2 cup water. Blend until all green bits are broken down into a smooth liquid. Add cucumber, pineapple, mango and whey. Pour more water as needed. Grate ginger and discard big, stringy bits. Add grated pieces to smoothie, blend and enjoy!

Tip: peel ginger and freeze for easy, clean grating for another smoothie or stir fry!