Homemade No Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

-3Right before moving from Charleston to Spartanburg, I experienced my first Peanut Butter Bar from Purée Organic Cafe in Mt. Pleasant.  They were absolutely amazing, and my mom and I gobbled them right up.  Sadly, my move was the next day, and I was already hooked on the deliciousness.  If you are in the Charleston area, you HAVE to go check out Purée.  The owner, Jenan McClain, and the head chef, Maureen McNellis, work together to whip up healthy, tasty foods for any appetite.  Not to mention, the space is so peaceful and inviting that you’ll never want to leave.

Puree Organic Cafe in Mt. Pleasant, SC

Puree Organic Cafe in Mt. Pleasant, SC

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With those bars on my mind, I did some research online and created my own version of something similar.  I based the below recipe off of two fellow bloggers’ recipes (No-Bake Energy Bites by Gimme Some Oven and No Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Snack Bars by Melanie in the Middle).

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup reduced fat peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
  • 1/2 cup natural honey
  • 2 cups 100% natural whole grain rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup organic ground flaxseed
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chip morsels

Directions:

  • Combine honey and peanut butter, and heat until melted
  • Mix in oats, flaxseed, and chia seeds
  • Mix in chocolate chip morsels
  • Place on tray, and put in refrigerator until cool and firm

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Variations:

  • If you want a little more crunch to your bar, I recommend using crunchy peanut butter.
  • For morsel-less bars, add the chocolate along with the other ingredients while the honey/peanut butter concoction is still hot.  This will completely melt the chocolate chips into the mixture.
  • I haven’t tried this, but if you chopped the oats in a blender/food processor/coffee grinder, you could make the bars less granola-y.
  • Always the option to add raisins, craisins, or other dried fruits.

Let me know what you think!  xxox

Spruce up your Cereal

If you are anything like me, you go a million miles a minute during the week.  Between jobs, working out, and running errands, there is hardly any time to prepare a “real” meal.  How do I sometimes get around that?  Sprucing up my, get ready for it, cereal!

You heard that right.  Cereal can be both satisfying and nourishing, as long as you select the right kinds, and include some healthy toppings.  Check out the tips below.

  1. Look for cereals made with whole grain oats and fiber.
  2. Be sure to check the sugar contents included in the cereal; many cereals are just candy in disguise.  Look for low sugar cereals.  Kashi and Quaker Oats have some great ones.
  3. Use low-fat original soy milk instead of the typical dairy milk.  If you must use cow’s milk, use skim milk.
  4. Add some fruit.  This is the best part!  Bananas, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries work well.

Enjoy!

Simple Black Bean & Corn Salsa

Nothing good to snack on in the fridge?  Make this quick and easy black bean and corn salsa with ingredients you likely already have in your cupboard.

Rinse to remove excess sodium

All you’ll need is:

  • 1 15.25 oz. can of organic black beans
  • 1 15.25 oz. can of unsalted yellow corn kernels
  • reduced fat crumbled feta cheese
  • organic balsamic vinegar
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • stevia

Empty the black beans and corn into a colander.  Rinse with water (this helps rid the excess sodium that often comes along in canned foods).  Pour contents into a bowl.  Add crumbled feta, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil to your liking.  Finally, add one packet of stevia; this all natural ingredient will help sweeten it up!  Chill, and serve with whole grain tortilla scoops!

Voila!