6 Fast, Easy, & Delicious Smoothies to make in 2017 (V, VG, GF, DF)

January 4, 2017

Spiced Carrot & Lentil Soup with Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas (GF, DF, Vegetarian, Vegan)

January 4, 2017

Rise and Shine Granola Bars (GF, DF, Vegan Friendly)

January 4, 2017
This was one of the first recipes to hit my blog about a year and a half ago. I wanted to give them some updated and fresh photos that really do them justice, so here they are!  These babies are chewy, gooey, crunchy, salty & sweet and the best part is that they are NO BAKE.  They are full of healthy fats, superfoods and are gluten, dairy and refined sugar free and they come together in 10 minutes. Really. In fact, my husband was reading my son a book last night while I was making these and 10 minutes later he came back in the kitchen and said “I thought you were making granola bars?” I said, “Ya, they are already done and in the fridge!”  Haha!
In addition to the speed of which you can have these done, I also love that this recipe is super customizable.  Don’t have puffed quinoa?  No prob.  Just used puffed rice cereal (I subbed One Degree Organics Brown Rice Crisps).  Don’t like the nuts I used?  No prob.  Just sub whatever nuts or seeds you prefer (keeping the same quantity). The possibilities are endless and so are the flavor options.  
Don’t like them in bar form?  Make them into little energy balls, perfect for your kids lunches! I’ve even pressed the batter into mini muffin pans and froze them for 20 minutes and then popped them back out and into a baggie so they are perfectly portioned!
I know it’s incredibly easy to go and buy granola bars but this recipe couldn’t be simpler and something tells me you probably already have these ingredients in your cupboard!  So forget the trip to the store and try these instead!
1 1/2 cup quick cooking oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF oats)
2 T chia seeds
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup puffed quinoa (may sub puffed rice cereal)
1/4 cup pistachios shelled and roughly chopped (I used salted so I omitted the salt)
1/4 cup chopped cashews
1/2 t cinnamon (optional)
5 dates pitted and chopped into bite size pieces (I pulsed mine in a food processor so they were super fine since my son won’t go near a date otherwise)
1/2 cup creamy almond butter (or any nut butter-I used Simple Truth Creamy Almond Butter from Ralphs)
1/3 cup honey (or brown rice syrup, maple syrup, or agave)
1 T vanilla extract
2 T coconut oil
1/2 t salt (omit if your nuts were salted)

Combine the first six ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.  In a small sauce pan combine the rest of the ingredients until combined and melted. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture until well incorporated. Then pour into a 8 x 8 baking pan. Set in freezer for 10-20 minutes and cut into bars. Will keep in an airtight container in the fridge* for up to a week.

Makes about 8 bars the size you see below (or form them into the shape options I’ve given you above).

*Must be kept in the fridge to maintain their shape, otherwise they will get too crumbly.  If you like crumbly, they would be great to broken up over yogurt, apples, or smoothies!

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light.