Hidden Veggie Energy Bars (Copycat Larabar Recipe)

I’ve been wanting to make these Hidden Veggie Energy Bars for weeks, and I’m so glad I finally got around to it because they are everything I hoped they would be.

Hidden Veggie Energy Bars

A few weeks ago, I spent a good 5 minutes standing at the aisle at Whole Foods, getting in everyone’s way, studying the array of Larabar flavors. Even though I almost always decide on Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, I still have to consider all my options carefully, ya know? Especially when I make it all the way to Whole Foods, because they just have SO MANY. This time, the decision was even more complicated because I noticed a new line of Fruits & Greens Larabars. Kale in my granola bar?? Obviously I was intrigued.

But honestly, I wasn’t feeling adventurous enough to drop the extra 50¢ on an unfamiliar bar when I could just go with my old standby, PB & chocolate. So I opened the “notes” section of my phone, typed in “spinach Larabar,” checked out of Whole Foods, and promptly forgot about the whole vegetables-in-my-snack idea.

Recently, however, I found myself with big box of dates in my pantry and knew it was time to experiment.

It was a bit of a mad scientist moment- I just grabbed whatever ingredients sounded good and tossed them into the food processor, but as soon as I tasted a bar I knew the recipe was a winner.

These bars are salty, sweet, crunchy, chewy, and totally adaptable. This combination is pretty great, but feel free to play around and experiment with whatever ingredients sound good to you.

This post isn’t sponsored by Bare Snacks, but I recently received a complimentary sample of their product and I used their (amazing) coconut chips in this recipe. You could probably use any toasted coconut flakes, but Bare Snacks coconut chips are definitely my favorite.

If you make these Hidden Veggie Energy Bars (do it!!) be sure to leave a comment here or share with me on Instagram!

Hidden Veggie Energy Bars
Recipe type: Snack
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 bars
 
Ingredients
  • 6 pitted dates
  • ¾ c. baby spinach
  • ½ c. unsalted cashews
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • ¼ c. toasted coconut flakes (I used Bare Snacks coconut chips)
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Combine dates, spinach, salt, and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor
  2. Blend until thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides as needed.
  3. Add cashews and coconut flakes. Blend until all ingredients are well mixed, but chunks of cashew and coconut remain.
  4. Remove from food processor and press gently into a small pan lined with parchment paper. I use a square tupperware container and make bars about ¼ of an inch thick, but use whatever you prefer.

 

For more snack bar recipes, check out my Honey Walnut Granola Bars.

And for more recipes with Bare Snacks, try my TrailMix Remix recipe.

Almond Butter and Jelly Coconut Flour Pancakes

My current obsessions: Orange is the New Black, bedroom design + plants, and Almond Butter and Jelly Coconut Flour Pancakes.

This morning I finally started watching Orange is the New Black and I’m pretty proud of myself. Starting a new TV show might be a weird thing to consider an accomplishment, but I’m totally someone who just watches the shows I like over and over, so this is a pretty big deal.

coconut flour pancakes

In other news, I’ve been really into bedroom design recently (I kinda went crazy on Pinterest). I would love for my room to be a tidy, peaceful sanctuary type of place, but the reality is that it’s often cluttered and chaotic.

But after scrolling through tons of minimalist home inspo, I was inspired to get my act together and commit to creating the space that I want. Yesterday was all about the deep clean, and now it’s time for the fun stuff: plants! I’m so ready to be a crazy plant lady.

Finally (and most importantly), this week I discovered the deliciousness that is Almond Butter and Jelly Coconut Flour pancakes. At first, I was skeptical of coconut flour pancakes because I feel like if I want a pancake, I’m just going to eat a pancake. But eventually I got curious and gave them a try. Verdict? SO GOOD!!

For me, they don’t replace traditional pancakes but instead are delicious in their own right. And they’re a great base for tons of fun flavor combinations. I have a feeling you’ll be seeing lots of different flavor combos in the future, but for now, these AB&J pancakes are going to rock your world!

Today’s recipe was inspired by this recipe from Ambitious Kitchen and this recipe from ImmaEatThat.

If you make these pancakes, be sure to leave a comment here or share with me on Instagram!

Almond Butter and Jelly Coconut Flour Pancakes
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Serves 1
 
Ingredients
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk (I used 2%, but use whatever you prefer)
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ c. raspberries
  • almond butter
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, beat egg and milk until smooth.
  2. Stir in coconut flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Mash raspberries into a jam-like consistency, then fold into pancake batter.
  4. Melt butter (or your preferred oil) in a small skillet over medium-high heat.
  5. Spoon some of the batter (about ⅓) into the pan, then use the back of the spoon to spread the batter into a pancake.
  6. Cook for a couple minutes until the edges appear set, then flip and continue cooking for about 15 seconds.
  7. Repeat for the rest of the batter, then top the pancakes with a (generous) drizzle of almond butter and enjoy!

 

Lemon Poppy Seed Toast

Have you ever had a hobby that you’re not very good at but just really love doing?

Yeah? Me too. Mine is baking, which is weird because obviously I write a recipe blog. But if you check out the recipe index, you’ll notice that there aren’t actually many recipes for baked goods. The ones that I do have are delicious, but it usually takes a while to perfect them.

So if I’m having a strong craving for particular treat, I’ll probably go out and buy it.

 

And I think that’s totally ok. Even when I make mistakes, I keep baking because it’s so much fun, but I also know that I can’t expect to get every recipe right on the first try. Everything takes practice. And that’s hard for me to accept, because I really like being good at stuff.

In the meantime, when a lemon poppy seed muffin craving hits (which trust me, it often does), I’ll:

  • a) go out and buy one
  • b) make lemon poppy seed toast (for the days when I don’t feel like interrupting my Netflix marathon)

The fresh, cool flavors of this lemon poppy seed toast make it the perfect summer snack. And because it’s so simple- only 5 ingredients and you don’t even need the oven- you can pull it together in less than 5 minutes.

Since it’s so simple, this recipe is also easily adaptable. Just use dairy-free yogurt to make it vegan, and gluten free bread to keep things gf. My current favorite gluten free bread is Bread SRSLY, and I was even able to talk to the founder on my podcast recently!

lemon poppy seed toast

If you make this recipe, be sure to take a picture and tag me on Instagram (do it! it’s so pretty!) and/or leave a comment to let me know what you think.

Lemon Poppyseed Toast
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 1 slice bread
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp poppy seeds
  • Optional: honey/agave
Instructions
  1. Toast bread
  2. Mix yogurt with lemon juice in a small bowl
  3. Spread yogurt mixture on toast
  4. Sprinkle with poppy seeds
  5. Drizzle with honey/agave if desired
Notes
To make vegan: use dairy free yogurt. To make gluten free: use gluten free bread

 

 

Blackberry Tahini Bread

As I write this, I am flying above the snowy mountaintops of California en route to Red Rock Canyon, Nevada. Leaving for the airport at 7:30 am is never ideal, but I came prepared with podcasts (currently loving Let it Out with Katie Dalebout), coffee, and best of all, Blackberry Tahini bread!! Aka the most scrumptious breakfast morsel ever to grace my Tupperware.

Blackberry tahini bread

Though I was hesitant about going on vacation to Red Rock Canyon- which is right outside of Vegas- I don’t think any trip that starts out with a breakfast this good could possibly be anything but awesome.

Even though I’m not so crazy about the Vegas thing- personally I don’t love big crowds, loud noise, and partying- I’ve heard that Red Rock is really beautiful. So hopefully I’m looking forwards to a few days of hiking, doing yoga, relaxing in the sun, and eating delicious food. I hope you follow along with my travels on Instagram!

Blackberry Tahini Bread is an amazing breakfast or snack- hearty and filling, but at the same time light and full of delicate flavor. I hope you love this recipe as much as I do!

Blackberry Tahini Bread
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10-12 slices
 
Ingredients
  • Wet Ingredients:
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • ¼ c. maple syrup
  • ¼ c. milk
  • Dry Ingredients:
  • 1 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Add ins:
  • ½ c. blackberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350º and grease a loaf pan.
  2. Whisk together wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Stir dry ingredients together in a small bowl.
  4. Add ⅔ of dry mixture to wet ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  5. Rinse blackberries, then pat dry.
  6. Chop blackberries roughly and coat with remaining flour mixture.
  7. Add flour and blackberries to batter and stir gently to combine.
  8. Bake for 40-45 minutes.

 

Irish Breakfast Banana Bread Oatmeal

First day of spring break!! I got back from Seattle last night and it feels so good to be home. I had a great time on the trip, but there’s really nothing better than sleeping in my own bed. And enjoying Irish Breakfast Banana Bread Oatmeal for breakfast.

Irish Breakfast Banana Bread Oatmeal

This oatmeal was inspired by my spring break last year, when I traveled to New York with my dad for a couple days. He was there on business, and one of my best friends happened to be in NYC at the same time so she and I explored the city together.

We visited the theater where Hamilton was playing (right by my hotel!), walked through Central Park, and stopped for a snack at Bibble and Sip cafe.

The cafe was adorable and the menu was SO creative. I ordered the lavender latte and the Earl Grey banana bread. Both were delicious, and I wish I could go back this year.

But since I can’t get to New York, I’m bringing Bibble and Sip to me (and you) with this Irish Breakfast Banana Bread Oatmeal. I’m sure it would be delicious with Earl Grey too, but I just happened to have Irish Breakfast on hand.

This oatmeal is the perfect way to add tons of flavor and fun to your morning routine in under five minutes and using only four ingredients.

So what are you waiting for? Get to the kitchen! And if you make this oatmeal, be sure to comment and/or share with me on Instagram.

Irish Breakfast Banana Bread Oatmeal
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Serves 1
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bag Irish Breakfast tea
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ½ banana
Instructions
  1. Bring water to a boil in a small pot
  2. Remove from heat and add teabag
  3. Allow to steep for 5 minutes
  4. Bring water back to boil, add oats, and lower heat to medium.
  5. Mash banana and stir into oatmeal.
  6. Once oatmeal reaches desired consistency, remove from heat and serve.

 

Masa Harina Blueberry Muffins

 

Do you  have any foods you just can’t eat because you had an awful experience with them when you were younger?

Unfortunately, for me that food is cheesecake. One of my earliest memories is going out for dinner with my dad at this diner we loved, having a good meal, then ordering cheesecake for dessert. And while I wish I remembered that night as a nice dinner with my dad, what I actually remember is how disgusting the cheesecake was and how sick it made me feel.

The other day I went out for coffee with friends, and someone ordered a mini matcha cheesecake. It looked gorgeous (we took lots of pictures) and as soon as my other friends tried it they raved about how delicious it was and immediately ordered their own. So I figured, if it’s that good, I have to try it. And sometimes tastebuds change, ya know? I was confident I had outgrown my cheesecake hatred.

Continue reading “Masa Harina Blueberry Muffins”

Paleo Sweet Potato Oatmeal

Phew. The post-Christmas blues are real. I absolutely adore everything about the holiday season, from peppermint mochas to playing Christmas carols on the piano (badly). And once Christmas is over, sometimes everything seems to fall a little flat.

This year, I’m starting new projects, reading new books, and taking the time to set goals for the new year. Finding more to look forwards to is a great way to move past that post-holiday slump, but I was still feeling a little blue today.

As I often do, I found solace in the kitchen. This cozy bowl of “oats” was born from:

1. my constant craving for oatmeal

2. the abundance of leftover sweet potatoes in my kitchen

3. my desire to create a paleo-friendly oatmeal recipe.

This meal is so perfectly cozy, comforting and vitamin-packed, I promise you will be left glowing and satisfied.

Paleo Sweet Potato Oatmeal
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: Serves 2
 
Whether you're testing out the paleo diet or just looking for a way to change up your morning oats, this is the recipe for you!
Ingredients
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ cup almonds (toasted if you have time)
Instructions
  1. Grate sweet potato
  2. Bring water to a boil, add grated sweet potato, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Drain water from sweet grated sweet potato.
  4. Mix together almond milk and spices, then microwave for 30 seconds
  5. Spoon grated sweet potato into bowl, add spiced milk, and top with slivered almonds.

 

PB&J Quesadilla

Yesterday I babysat for three ten-year-old boys from 9 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon, and by the end I was completely exhausted. As soon as I got home, I made a cup of tea, put on my comfiest sweats, and curled up in bed for a Grey’s Anatomy marathon.

Babysitting was worth it though, considering I need to fund my Whole Foods trips and overzealous gift buying somehow. However, I am far more reluctant to part with money I’ve worked so hard to earn- causing me to be more mindful about my food budget. And that’s where this thrillingly simple recipe comes in.

This easy quesadilla recipe is the perfect cheap, nutrition-packed power breakfast to give you energy for all the craziness in your life, be it babysitting, studying, sports, your job, or anything else that really takes a lot out of you. Although, now that I think about it- can I still call it a quesadilla if there’s no cheese?? Am I committing some sort of quesadilla sacrilege here? If you think so, you don’t have to call it a quesadilla, but you DO have to make this recipe. I’m pretty sure you and I both know you need to experience all the crispy, gooey, sweet, nutritious goodness that is a PB&J quesadilla.

  1. PB&J Quesadilla
    Author: 
    Recipe type: Breakfast/Lunch
    Prep time: 
    Cook time: 
    Total time: 
    Serves: 1
     
    Ingredients
    • 1 whole wheat tortilla
    • 1 tbsp peanut butter
    • ¼ cup blackberries (use frozen + thawed to save $$)
    • ½ tsp coconut oil
    • ¼ tsp cinnamon
    Instructions
    1. Melt coconut oil in frying pan over medium heat.
    2. Once oil is melted, place tortilla in pan.
    3. Spread peanut butter over half the tortilla.
    4. Place ¼ cup berries on top of peanut butter and smush with a fork.
    5. Sprinkle cinnamon on top of berries, fold tortilla, and flip quesadilla.
    6. Cook about 30 more seconds, or until tortilla is golden brown and peanut butter is melty.

Pumpkin Granola

For me, the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas can’t go by fast enough. I actually had to drag myself away from online shopping for Christmas gifts just to write this post. The recipe is really the star of the show here, so I’ll type it up real quick and get back to deciding whether to get my sister fancy peppermint brownie mix or a pair of earrings.

granola3

This is probably – no, definitely – the best granola I’ve ever made. An believe me, I have made A LOT of granola. I’ve always loved granola, but the store bought kind often has some questionable ingredients, so I was thrilled when I learned how to make it at home.

Somehow, this is both the healthiest and best-tasting recipe I’ve tried, which makes me so very happy. I’ve been sprinkling this on smoothies, mixing it into yogurt, and snacking straight out of the jar for an energy-boost with healthy fats and minimal sugar.

granola4

Ingredients:

  • Dry Ingredients
    • 2 cups oats
    • 1/2 cup walnuts
    • 1/4 cup coconut
    • 1/2 tbs minced ginger
    • 1/2 tbs chia seeds
  • Wet Ingredients
    • 1 tbs coconut oil
    • 1 tbs maple syrup
    • 1/4 cup + 1 tbs pumpkin puree

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in large bowl.
  3. Combine wet ingredients in saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Stir until wet ingredients appear smooth and creamy.
  5. Remove pumpkin mixture from heat and stir into dry ingredients.
  6. Make sure all dry ingredients are coated in pumpkin mixture (definitely get in there and use your hands, its very satisfying).
  7. Spread granola evenly across baking sheet, then bake for 25-30 minutes, until granola is crunchy and golden.

granola1

Pecan Pie Oatmeal

Is an adoration for pecan pie genetic? I am pretty sure I get my obsession with the sweet treat from my mom, a pecan pie fanatic. My dad actually proposed to her by giving her a pecan pie box from the Little Pie Company in New York with a engagement ring inside. My mom was thrilled and accepted, with the caveat that he better have the pie for her too. He, of course, knew her well enough not to deny her pie, and they have been happily married ever since.

pecanoats2

One of my favorite holiday memories is sitting on the couch the day after Christmas watching the Harry Potter marathon and eating pecan pie in fuzzy socks and sweatpants.

Full out, decadent pecan pie is reserved for holidays in my family, but I love it so much I wanted an easier, healthier version I could eat every day of the year.

pecanoats1

This oatmeal has all the sweet, crunchy, buttery taste of pecan pie, but with far more wholesome ingredients. The combination of dates, oats, and pecans,  will keep you warm, cozy, and satisfied all winter long.

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Pecan Pie Oatmeal

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 dates
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup water
  • Maple syrup and salt to finish

Directions:

  1. Chop dates and add to saucepan with almond milk. Cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Toast oats and pecans while milk simmers.
  3. Add toasted oats and water to saucepan. Turn heat to high and cook until oatmeal reaches desired consistency, whisking continually.
  4. Pour oatmeal into bowls, top with pecans, drizzle with maple syrup, and sprinkle with salt.