Breakfast · Oatmeal · Snacks

“Glo Bar” Granola Bars

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Lately I’ve been struggling to find a morning snack that works for me. I’ve had problems tolerating dairy in the past and they seem to have returned in full force, so yogurt and granola has been cast to the side. I tried protein bars like Clif or Luna bars, but they put so many unnecessary additives in them and have so much added sugar that those didn’t sit well either.

I bought the Oh She Glows cookbook a few weeks ago and when I saw this recipe I knew I had to give it a try. These are really quick to throw together and they don’t require any baking, just a chill in the freezer and they’re ready to go. Plus, they don’t have any funky additives and give you energy from real, whole foods. Of course there is some sugar in the form of brown rice syrup, which is an incredible binding agent, but if you use a nut butter with no added sugar then the syrup will be the only added sugar in the recipe.

I think it would be really easy to change out the nut butter and seeds in this recipe and make it your own. Go ahead and give them a try!

“Glo Bar” Granola Bars

Servings: 12

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 cup rise crisp cereal
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 cup sunbutter (or nut butter of your choosing)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions: 

1. Mix the oats, rice cereal, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, sesame seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon, and sea salt together in a large bowl.

2. In a small saucepan, heat the brown rice syrup and sunbutter until it just beings to bubble and is well combined. Don’t let it bubble too long or it will start to burn on the bottom of the pan! Add the vanilla extract.

3. Pour the syrup mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well. It will get sticky!

4. Pour the mixture into a 9×9 pan lined with parchment or wax paper. Press mixture down with wet hands. Make sure it’s packed well.

5. Place pan in freezer for 10 minutes, or until bars are hardened. Remove from pan using the parchment and cut into 12 squares. You can store these in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

 

 

Chocolate · Oatmeal · Peanut Butter · Snacks

Chocolate Chip Energy Bites

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I made these energy bites a few weeks ago and although they were really tasty, I had a problem with them falling apart really easily. I had used puffed rice cereal and probably not enough honey and they ended up a crumbly mess.

I really liked the way they tasted, so I decided to make them again and use old fashioned oats this time….and enough honey.

These are a great portable snack and great for a little sweet fix in the afternoon!

Chocolate Chip Energy Bites

Recipe from Gimme Some Oven

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped pretzels
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds

Directions:

  1. Stir all ingredients together in a large bowl until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. (This step is important — it makes the mixture easier to shape.)
  2. Remove and shape into small 1-inch balls, or press into the bottom of a parchment-lined baking pan to make granola bars.
  3. Enjoy immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.

You could use different nuts or dried fruits if you have them or add some peanut butter chips in the mix to make them extra peanut buttery!  Just make sure you use enough honey so they stick together….there is nothing worse than a crumbly mess that these turn into when they don’t stick together!

 

Breakfast · Chocolate · Muffins · Oatmeal · Pumpkin · Snacks · Vegetarian

Low Fat Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

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If there is one thing I’ve never been good at, it’s making muffins, cupcakes, cookies, etc a uniform size.  So when I decided to make muffins I knew I would inevitably end of with one massive one and one puny one.

Can you find them?

I never fail…

Anyways, muffins are probably one of my favorite things on the planet.  I don’t make them often because when I do it requires a large amount of self control not to eat them all in a few days.  How could you not love such a perfectly portable snack?

I have also been craving pumpkin everything (Trader Joe’s pumpkin ice cream is to die for) so these muffins seemed fitting.

No more difficult than any other muffin and with a few healthy substitutions 🙂

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

Original recipe here

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 egg whites, slightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened all-natural applesauce
  • 1/2 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, plus 2 tablespoons (I used minis and they melted into the muffins nicely)
  • Extra oatmeal, for sprinkling on muffins

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 12 muffin cups with paper cups or spray with nonstick spray. If you use muffin cups, make sure to spray the inside of the cups.
  2. In a large bowl mix flour, oatmeal, pumpkin pie spice baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. In a separate bowl combine pumpkin, mashed banana, brown sugar, almond milk, egg whites and applesauce. Add the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture and stir to combine. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  3. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full so that each is even. Sprinkle a tiny bit of oatmeal over each top of the muffins. Place into the oven and bake for 23-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of muffins comes out clean. Muffins are best served warm.

Anytime I use banana in a baked good I refrigerate it because of a breakfast cookie molding incident I had in the past….so refrigeration is suggested by me.  Do as you please, but you have been warned!

These are hearty and chewy and perfect for a sweet afternoon snack!

Hope you enjoy!

Breakfast · Oatmeal · Snacks

Gingerbread Protein Breakfast Bars

So far, the meatless month as been a success.  This is day 8 and I’ve discovered that I’m not really craving meat and most of my close calls with almost eating it have simply come from me forgetting.  Luckily I haven’t had any real goofs!

Anyways, a common issue with vegetarians is a lack of protein in the diet.  For me, personally, meat has never been my main source of protein.  Especially with the large amount of running I’ve done in the last 6 months I’ve really started to utilize other protein sources, including protein powder, and I’m always on the lookout for recipes where I can add it in a boost up my protein for the day.  I’ve found that breakfast cookies are by far the easiest way for me to do this but I started to get burnt out of the ones I had been eating.

So the search for something new commenced!

I began browsing the archives of the blogs I frequent and came across this recipe on Peas and Thank You.  I have one of Sarah’s cookbooks and really enjoy reading it and hearing the stories about her family.  Unfortunately, she is taking a hiatus from blogging, but I know I will still use her blog/book as a resource for yummy vegetarian recipes!

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These bars are perfect for a quick breakfast before I leave for work at 5:30 AM.  I usually eat two breakfasts, one at that time and one at 9 AM when I take my first break, so I like to keep Breakfast #1 light and it has to be something I can eat while I’m packing my lunch and making my coffee.

Gingerbread Protein Breakfast Bars

Original recipe here

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease or spray an 8×8 pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, protein powder, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
  3. In a smaller bowl, combine applesauce, molasses, vanilla and milk.
  4. Add applesauce mixture to oat mixture and stir until just combined.
  5. Pour mixture into baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until bar is set and pulling away from edge of pan.
  6. Allow to cool completely. Cut into squares. Store remaining bars in the fridge.

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Admittedly not the most appetizing picture, but these bars are really good, I promise!

Servings: 8

  • Calories: 133
  • Total Fat: 1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 180 mg
  • Total Carbs: 25.4 g
  • Sugars: 11.2 g
  • Protein: 6.1 g
Breakfast · Oatmeal · Vegetarian

Overnight Oatmeal

So I bet you’re all wondering, what does Rita eat for breakfast? Right?

Okay, probably not.

Well, since my work schedule requires me to be at work before the sun even rises on most days and I am the kind of person who can’t function unless I have had breakfast, I have had to rely on quick, simple breakfasts I can eat as my coffee is brewing.  I’ve heard the hype about overnight oatmeal (aka refrigerator oatmeal, overnight oats, etc) for some time now and a few months ago I decided to give them a try.  I have always been an oatmeal fan but wanted to get away from the packaged kind and didn’t have enough time in the morning to make fresh hot oatmeal.  So this seemed like the logical solution.

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My first impression when I made them was that they looked a little yucky. And my first attempt I used WAY too many chia seeds so it was kind of a gelatinous yogurt flavored mess. Luckily, I continued to experiment and finally came up with a good recipe.  I like how thick and chewy they are, mmmm. And since they’re cold it’s easy for me to scarf them down in the morning and they are full of belly filling fiber! All together a win, win.  They just don’t look very pretty….

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Overnight Oatmeal

Ingredients:

  • ~2 oz Greek yogurt (I buy the 5.3 oz containers and split them among 3 servings)
  • 1/4 cup old fashioned oats (NOT quick oats)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk beverage of your choice)

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a container that can easily be covered and stored in the refrigerator, like a tupperware or small glass mason jar.
  2. Stir everything up until it is well combined and looks like oatmeal soup.
  3. Place in refrigerator overnight or for up to 3 days.

013This recipe is totally adaptable to whatever your preferences are.  Sometimes I like to throw a little dried fruit on top for some added chewiness. Or some nuts for some crunch. I make 3 servings at a time and it holds well in the fridge for a few days.  I like using the fruit flavored yogurts to add some sweetness and if you opt for vanilla or plain I would suggest either a bit of honey or some frozen/fresh fruit be added in unless, of course, you enjoy the tartness of plain yogurt.

008This morning I topped mine with some dried cranberries and it was delicious! Enjoy!

Servings: 1

  • Calories: 152
  • Total Fat: 4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 1.7 mg
  • Sodium: 76.7 mg
  • Total Carbs: 22.8 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Sugar: 7.5 g
  • Protein: 7.8 g

*These nutrition facts can vary HUGELY depending on what ingredients you use.  If you don’t use nonfat yogurt you will have more fat.  If you use cows milk you will have more protein. If you use plain yogurt you will have less sugar. These are derived using the ingredients listed above so keep that in mind 🙂