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Easy Protein Bars

Whew what a whirlwind year it has been so far!  SO many life changes and I got away from my passion for cooking – well I am back!!  Always striving for new ideas to have healthy snacks at hand instead of store-bought convenience!  These simple to make protein bars fit the bill nicely!  Nice easy grab and go energy!  I experimented with a few different combinations and this one was my first go.  I have changed the nut combinations and seed combinations too.  This is where it gets really fun!  Be Creative!  Try new combos!   This one goes out especially to my friend Tammy – these bars are GLUTEN FREE!   XO

Ingredients:

•    1/3 cup raw whole almonds
•    1/2 cup raw whole cashews
•    1/8 cup golden raisins
•    1/4 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
•    1/4 cup cooked quinoa
•    1 tbsp raw hemp seeds
•    1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
•    1 tbsp raw agave nectar
•    1 tsp raw cacao powder
•    1 tbsp ground flaxseed
•    1 tbsp water
•    3 tbsp almond flour

Instructions:

Soak flaxseed in water.

Combine all other ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Pour mixture along with soaked flaxseed into a food processor and pulse until mixture combines but is still slightly chunky.

Form mixture into small rectangles (or squares if you prefer) and place in a coated baking dish.

Preheat oven to  170° F and bake bars for one hour.  Turn bars over after 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

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Chewy Crispy Chocolate Almond Butter Bars

So here is another easy bar recipe.  I got the original recipe ideas from Clean Eating magazine nutrition edition 2006.  I have made a few changes to the original recipe to suit my tastes and experiment with “raw”ingredients.  I decided to make these over the weekend and they were a big hit.  Pretty sweet due to the agave nectar which is sweeter than honey but you could always use the honey if you can’t find agave nectar.  Coconut nectar is another raw option which is really sweet!  These bars rival any candy bar and so much healthier for you!  Get creative add any dried fruit mixture or use peanut butter or cashew butter instead!  The beauty of cooking is getting to create and then play around with different ingredients!  So much fun and so yummy to eat!

Ingredients:Crispy Almond Butter Bars

•   3 cups crisped rice cereal
•   1 cup oats
•   1 cup chopped dried fruit (apricots, raisins, cherries)
•   1/3 cup sliced raw almonds
•   2 tbsp ground flaxseed
•   1/3 cup cacao nibs
•   1/4 cup brown sugar
•   1/3 raw agave nectar or raw coconut nectar
•   1/2 cup raw almond butter
•   1/2 cup raw cacao powder
•   cooking spray

Instructions:

Coat a large mixing bowl with cooking spray and add first five  ingredients except brown sugar, agave nectar, and almond butter; stir to mix well.  Combine brown sugar, agave nectar, and almond butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Stir until completely melted and smooth.  Remove from the heat and stir in cacao powder.  Pour chocolate almond butter mixture over cereal mixture and stir to coat evenly.  Press mixture into a 9x 13 pan than has been coated with cooking spray.  Place in refrigerator to cool completely.  Cut into bars.

Enjoy!

Agave Energy Bars

A little pick me up after your workout or for an afternoon sweet treat!  Healthy and so much better than a candy bar!  Even my 16 year old likes to snack on these bars.

Ingredients:Agave Energy Bars

•   1 cup crushed wheat flakes (or your favorite cereal)
•   1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
•   1/2 cup sesame seeds
•   1/3 cup sliced raw almonds
•   2 tbsp ground flaxseed
•   1 tsp lucama powder
•   1/4 cup raw cacao nibs
•   1/3 raw agave nectar or raw coconut nectar
•   cooking spray
Instructions:

Coat a medium mixing bowl with cooking spray and add all ingredients except agave nectar; stir to mix well.  Bring agave nectar to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce heat to low and simmer about 6 minutes.  Pour over cereal mixture and stir to coat evenly.  Press mixture into a 8×8 pan than has been coated with cooking spray.  Place in refrigerator to cool completely.  Cut into bars.

Enjoy!

Baked Quinoa (keen-‘wah) Cakes

Baked Quinoa CakesIngredients:

•    1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
•    1 tbsp olive oil
•    ½ yellow onion, finely chopped
•    ½ cup grated carrots
•    ½ cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
•    1 cup baby spinach, finely sliced
•    6 cloves garlic, minced
•    2 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 6 tbsp water
•    ½ cup whole wheat spelt flour mixture
•    3 tsp red pepper flakes
•    1 tsp cumin
•    ½ Celtic sea salt
•    ¼ tsp ground black pepper

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Cook quinoa in 2 cups water, bring to boil and let simmer on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes until all water is absorbed.

Heat oil in skillet.  Sauté onions, carrots, pepper and garlic for 8 – 10 minutes.  Add spinach when 3 minutes remain.  Place sautéed vegetables in a large bowl and set aside.

Add cooked quinoa and all remaining ingredients to vegetables and mix well.

Form mixture into balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Press the balls into patties before baking.

Bake for 15 – 18 minutes on each side.

Enjoy!

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