No Bake Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars (Gf, Kid-friendly)

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If you’ve hung around my site for any length of time, you know by now I’m a chocolate fiend. I add chocolate or cacao powder to pretty much everything, including even my morning smoothie.

But something you might not know is that as a child I was obsessed with Reese’s peanut butter cups (and still am, frankly). I’d say I’m pretty much obsessed with the idea of mixing chocolate and peanut butter together. I mean how much better can life possibly get than enjoying these two amazing things as a combo?!

What I’m not obsessed with, however, is the ingredient list on just one those those little Reese’s peanut butter cups. Just to name one shady ingredient on this childhood favorite, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (like palm oil) contain trans fats, which are not only particularly bad for your heart health, but are also known for causing inflammation in the body and interfere with the metabolic processes at a cellular level.

Ok, I’ll try to not go all preachy on you. To sum it up, if you read an ingredient list that includes partially hydrogenated oils, avoid that product at all costs.

And why eat something so bad for you when you can easily make something that tastes just as good, if not better AND is actually good for you?!

Its a no brainer in my book. I’m on a mission to teach my kids the joys of eating and enjoying healthy sweets but just making them in a way that nourishes our bodies.

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So I’ve made several different versions of these, including my Healthier Chia Peanut Butter Cups, but nothing has turned out quite as ridiculously satisfying of my chocolate peanut butter cravings as these No-Bake Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars.

Oh and did I mention they’re not bake? They are so easy to make, 10-15 minutes from start to finish and include only a handful of wholesome ingredients.

And yes, your children will be as obsessed with them as you are. Try them out, guys, you deserve this mama!

Here’s how to make them.

Ingredients (Peanut Butter Layer)

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2 cups creamy organic peanut butter, I use this brand
1 tablespoon agave
1 cup almond flour, I use this brand
1 cup coconut sugar
2 scoops of collagen powder (optional) I use this brand

Ingredients (Chocolate Layer)

1/3 cup coconut oil
1 + 1/2 cup enjoy life chocolate chips
1 + 1/2 tbsp agave

Serves: Makes about 12-15 bars
Time: 15 minutes

Instructions

  1. Line a 9x13 glass baking pan with parchment paper on the bottom.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the peanut butter layer ingredients and combine well.

  3. Spread the peanut butter layer evenly in the pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.

  4. Heat the coconut oil in a stainless steel saucepan over medium-low heat. Once heated, add the agave and chocolate chips and stir quickly, being careful not to overheat or burn.

  5. Pour the chocolate mixture atop the peanut butter layer and then spread evenly with a spatula.

-Made with love, Ashley


Blueberry Muffin Breakfast Bread - Gluten Free, Vegan, Paleo

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Eating gluten-free doesn't have to be boring!  You can still have delicious treats, they just won't send you into a sugar coma! 

I get asked a lot by people what I eat since I avoid gluten,  dairy and pretty much most forms of fast-acting carbs (other than fruits.)

 My answer is that, as long as you don't mind spending some extra time in the kitchen, and can get creative with real, whole foods, the possibilities are truly endless! I mean, in a day and age where you can find more than 20 recepies on pinterest for cheesecake made out of CASHEWS, the sky is the limit people! 

The kids... okay I was craving blueberry muffins this morning for breakfast and since I was fresh out of cupcake liners, I decided to make a blueberry breakfast bread instead.  It was so moist and delicious, it definitely hit the spot.  The kids both gobbled up at least two or three pieces without batting an eye.  The best part about it was, since these are made from real food ingredients and have adequate fiber, healthy fats and protein (from the eggs and almonds), they somewhat resembled a balanced meal.

If you’ve had bad experiences in the past with gluten free bread recipes that turn out too dry, that won’t be the case with this one.  Holy moly this bread is so good, you guys! I am already planning on working it into the weekly routine and next time I am planning on adding a bit of lemon flavor too!  

Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

3 eggs
5 dates
1/2 cup ghee (or coconut oil)
1 1/2 almond flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp agave
3 tsp arrowroot powder
1 cup wild frozen blueberries
pinch of salt


Instructions:


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and line a meatloaf/bread pan with parchment paper.
  2. Beat the eggs with a hand blender until fluffy.
  3. In a food processor, puree the dates, ghee and agave until smooth. Add to the eggs.
  4. Add all the other ingredients, except the blueberries.  Mix thoroughly, until combined.
  5. Fold in the blueberries but don't over stir them.
  6. Pour mixture into pan atop parchment paper.  Sprinkle a few blueberries on top.
  7. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.
  8. Enjoy!
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-Ashley

Breakfast Sweet Potato Hash Browns - (Gluten-Free, Paleo, Whole 30, Kid Friendly)

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With the New Year excitement lingering in the air, I decided I am joining the bandwagon and trying to eat more Whole-30 friendly meals and offering more veggies at every meal for my kids.

The only thing holding me back is, well, carbs.  Darn you bread.  Luckily, tomorrow is a new day!

And thankfully, this healthy little number is New Years diet + Whole-30 + Kid-approved, so I still have that going for me!

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Sweet potatoes are my go-to when I am attempting to cut out the junk.  They can be sweetened up with butter + agave for a sweet tooth craving (try this NOW) or baked into fries, so many options!  All these options got me thinking of hash browns and so I got to cookin’. 

These turned out SO good with only a few simple ingredients and everyone enjoyed them!  I would not make these on a busy weekday morning as it takes a while (like pancakes) to wait and flip them all but on a lazy Saturday, yes! 

Next time I make these, I am planning on doubling the recipe for week time meal prep.  They would be a great addition to toddler lunches.

   

  

Ingredients:  (serves 4) 

  1. 1 Large organic sweet potato (or two small)
  2. 1 Egg
  3. Organic extra virgin coconut oil
  4. Salt and pepper to taste
  5. Crispy bacon bits + scallion toppings (optional) 

Method: 

  1. Peel and then shred sweet potato. 
  2. Beat egg.
  3. In large bowl, mix sweet potato, egg, and salt and pepper.  Massage mixture well with hands.
  4. Head pan on stovetop to medium high heat, add 1 tbsp coconut oil. 
  5. While pan is heating, form 1 inch ball of mixture with your hands.  Place and flatten into the oil with spatula.  Don’t move until that side is crispy then flip.
  6. Continue this process, cooking three or four at a time until finished.  
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No-Bake Almond Butter Chocolate-chip Granola Bars (Kid friendly, Paleo, Vegan, Gluten free)

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I have been on the hunt for a healthier version of the store bought peanut butter chocolate chip granola bars without all the gluten and yucky food additives.  I really wanted something healthy and sweet and also was looking for an pack-able kid-snack for when I’m out in public and my kids are getting H A N G R Y. 

After leaving the grocery store empty handed, and not wanting to venture out to Whole Foods, I decided I would give it a go on my own.  

I was pleasantly surprised at how amazing these turned out on my first try.  They were a hit with my kids and the husband too, who sometimes thinks my healthy sweets are not as good as the real thing.   My kids called them "cookies" and I just went with it.

I love having healthy snacks around the house for the kids obviously but also for myself when I am having sugar cravings and feel like I just might smash down an entire bag of my sons animal crackers. 

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These are absurdly simple, no bake required and have only 5 ingredients you probably have in your cupboard. 

Sunflower seeds and dark chocolate boost the nutritional value of these little granola bars and give them a deliciously chewy texture with just the right amount of crunch. They are packed with a little sweetness, fiber and some great sources of protein and fats.

So what are you waiting for? Go make these bars ASAP.

(**Affiliate links below) 

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup organic gluten free oats, I use these

  • 1/3 + 1 tsp cup organic agave (can substitute with maple syrup)

  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

  • 3 tablespoons almond butter/peanut butter, this is my favorite brand

  • 1/3 cup organic sunflower seeds

  • pinch of sea salt

Method

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Place all ingredients into a food processor, pulse until semi-smooth texture but don’t mash it completely, still leave some seeds and chips intact.

  3. Place the ingredients into parchment paper, mash it down with your fingers until you form an even layer.

  4. Cover & freeze for 4-5 hours.

    5. Cut and serve. 

Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Lemon Ginger Tonic for Flu Season

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With flu season in full swing, my whole family fighting a cold of some sort and Christmas travel plans looming in the near future, I decided it was time to break out my dear old friend, the Anti-inflammatory Turmeric Lemon Ginger Tonic. 

No, this is not a smoothie, but if you’re like me and love lemons and don’t mind a little kick, you could probably drink it down like it was one. 

Instead, I take one shot sized sip of it first thing every morning when I’m trying to be preventative against colds and viruses or when anyone in my house is sick.

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Inflammation in the body has been linked to so many diseases including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, depression, obesisty, Alzheimer’s, etc. It is also thought to be a pre-curser of sorts to premature aging.

Unfortunately, many people walk around in a chronic state of inflammation without even realizing it.  Here are a few reasons inflammation can develop.

  • Stress/anxiety
  • Lack of sleep
  • Diet lacking of good quality omega-3 fatty acids
  • Poor gut health
  • Diet high in processed grains and sugars
  • Environmental toxins
  • Free radical damage

Besides looking at this list and trying your best to eliminate as many factors as possible, there are some powerful anti-inflammatory foods that can significantly decrease inflammation in the body and help prevent and fight disease. 

Turmeric 

Turmeric is a bright orange spice known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral  and anti-cancer properties.  It is what gives curry its orange/yellow color.  

Basically, this spice wards of disease, you guys.  If you have never experimented with adding it to your diet, you need to ASAP. 

While Indian cultures have long revered this spice and used it to treat wounds, infections and cure other diseases, the western world is just beginning to acknowledge its powerful medicinal properties.  Several studies have shown its effectiveness against treating cancer. 

Ginger 

Ginger is another one of the most healthy spices in the world.  It also has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant superpowers.  It has been used for medicinal uses for centuries to aid in digestion, treat nausea and fight off the Flu and common cold.

Raw Honey

Raw honey contains bee pollen, a super nutritious compound containing powerful antioxidant flavonoids, vitamins and minerals, and enzymes.  It has been known to fight seasonal allergies, help with a nagging cold or cough, and fight disease.  

Unlike store bought, commercial honey, which has been heavily processed, chemically refined and heated to a degree which renders vitamins, minerals and enzymes unusable, raw honey has all of those properties intact in an easily absorbable form. 

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Lemons 

Lemons are densely packed with vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin E, folate, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, and protein.

Garlic  

Garlic has powerful medicinal properties as well, known for curing the common cold, aiding in digestion, fighting disease including cancer and heart disease (by lowering blood pressure.)  It is also another powerful antioxidant and is known for its antiviral properties.

Flax-seed Oil 

A healthy source of Omega-3 fatty acids.  These healthy fats helps the absorption and assimilation of all the other ingredients into the body, especially Turmeric. 

Black Pepper 

It is a well known fact that black pepper can increase the absorption and bioavailability of Turmeric into the body.

So now that you know the method behind the madness of why anyone would take a shot of this spicy and sweet concoction on a regular basis, here is how I make this little miracle working tonic. 

 

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Ingredients 

  1. 4-5 lemons  - juice and some of the pulp
  2. 4-5 fresh organic Turmeric roots, peeled  
  3. 3 garlic cloves
  4. 1/3 cup raw organic honey (or to your likeness of sweet)
  5. 1 large 1-2 to 1 inch cube ginger
  6. 1/3 cup flaxseed oil
  7. 1 tsp black pepper

Instructions 

Blend all ingredients in high power blender until smoothe.  Store in a container with a lid in the refrigerator for about 1- 1 1/2 weeks, take one or two shots daily to ward off illness.

Be warned, it is VERY spicy! I actually enjoy the flavor a lot but my husband and some other friends I have had try it have a hard time getting it down.  Add as much raw honey as your heart desires to make it palatable! 

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