Thursday, February 28, 2013

Granola Bars from scratch

The more I learn about gluten, the more I try to avoid it. My family is not gluten-free per se but we only eat gluten in really minimal amounts. For instance I buy gluten free oats to make our granola bars.

There are some foods that I really try to avoid. I am not perfect at it but I try tremendously hard. Sugar is one of these "foods."

So here is the granola bar recipe that I am still perfecting. They are a little dry still but they taste really good... like I made this 9x13 pan yesterday and after my kids and their friends had one my husband ate the other 1/3 of the pan. 

Here it goes:
Preheat oven to 350
I use a stoneware pan so I don't grease it, but if you use glass or metal I would spray the pan with olive oil. 
In a large bowl mix:
1/2 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cups almond butter
3 eggs
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
1-2 Tbs. chia seeds
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
5 cups rolled oats ( I prefer gluten free)
1 cup chocolate chips

Mix that all up and flatten it into your prepared pan. Cook at 350 for 20 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan.

So here are the dirty details of what goes through my head.
Sugar is in most everything you buy, so I try to make homemade to cut sugar.
But.... kids will only eat something that tastes good. Sugar makes things taste good.....
so this is definetly a balancing act and one that I have to constantly work to improve.

These granola bars fill both desires of my heart to give my kids something that I know is nourishing their bodies and something that they enjoy eating. 

These bars are filled with protein between the oats, the eggs, the almond butter and the chia seeds.
These bars are gluten free.
These bars do not have any refined sugar, except for what is in the chocolate chips.
These bars have calcium from the chia seeds.
These bars have the good fat from the butter, the sunflower seeds, and the almond butter.
These bars have the fiber from the oats, the coconut, the almond butter, the sunflower seeds and the chia seeds.

My goal is almost always to balance the sugar content to the protein content to the fiber content to regulate the blood sugar and provide a healthy snack. I don't have a nutrition label to put on these babies but in my head these bars do exactly that.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Chia Seed Pudding!

The other day while browsing my favorite recipe websites I found this recipe for Chia Seed Pudding. I am a sucker for Tapioca. Love it! But it's made with all the good things I don't eat... dairy, sugar... So the chia seed pudding was really tempting. I altered the recipe a bit and this is what I came up with! Delicious!

In my Ninja blender I combined the following:
1 cup organic coconut milk (the pure stuff sold in the can)
1 cup filtered water
1 tsp. vanilla
6 Tbs. Raw Chia Seeds
small pinch of stevia

I blended it all together until it was combined and put it in this glass bowl, in the refrigerator  overnight. And then, the next morning, we feasted on pudding for breakfast. All my kids loved it, my husband loved it, and I, as usual, loved it too. Try it. The texture is nothing short of yummy tapioca and the flavor is vanilla goodness.