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

Recipe: Guiltless Banana Walnut Bread

I love banana bread, always have and always will.  But, it can literally be like eating dessert for breakfast.  So, over the last few weeks, I have browsed various recipes, experimented with substitutes, and made lots of mistakes in the kitchen, all in the hopes of finding a guiltless version.  The recipe below is just that!  It is a variation of a co-worker’s recipe, substituting healthier ingredients in place of things like eggs and butter.  It is little less sweet than some banana breads, but still perfectly moist and satisfying.

Ingredients:

  • 3 large, very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup sugar & stevia blend (I used Domino light all natural sugar & stevia blend; this replaces 1/2 cup sugar)
  • 1 tbsp milled flaxseed + 3 tbsp water (replaces one egg)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (replaces 1/2 stick melted butter)
  • 2 cups organic unbleached whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup soymilk + 1/2 tsp white vinegar (replaces 1/4 cup buttermilk)
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • extra virgin olive oil non-stick cooking spray

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix soymilk and vinegar together; set aside.
  • Mash bananas in large bowl to your liking.
  • Stir in brown sugar, sugar & stevia blend, flaxseed & water, and applesauce.
  • Carefully blend flour and baking soda in separate bowl, before adding to the mixture.
  • Add soymilk blend and vanilla extract.
  • Finally, add the chopped walnuts, stirring sparingly.
  • Grease pan with extra virgin olive oil cooking spray before emptying mixture into it.
  • Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

What do you think?  Do you have some substitute ideas of your own??  Please share!

Yogi Tea Giveaway Winner + Mixed Berry Smoothie Recipe!

Hope y’all are having a nice week!  The moment you’ve been waiting for is finally here…the winner of the Yogi tea giveaway is Rachel Adams!!!  Congratulations, Rachel, and I hope this makes your study time in the library a little more bearable!!!  Please email me directly to provide the shipping address for your delicious teas!

For the rest of you, here’s a yummy smoothie recipe.  Just add the ingredients to your blender and blend away:

  • 1 scoop plant-based Vega One all-in-one nutritional shake in berry
  • 1/4 cup organic light vanilla soy milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1.5 big handfuls of ice
  • 1 cup of frozen mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)

Thanks to the Vega shake mix, you’ll get 15 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, and 1.5 grams of Omega-3s, as well as 50% of your daily intake of vitamins and minerals in this smoothie.  How’s that for a healthy boost of energy?!

And, finally, check out my most recent blog post, “Keeping the Job Search Positive and Productive,” for The Zesty Digest for Sweet Lemon Magazine.  If you’ve been stressing about the job search or changing careers, this advice will help you rest easy!