Toasted Oat Granola Bars

Indecision steals many years from many people who wind up wishing they'd just had the courage to leap - Doe Zantamada
IMG_7983.JPG

Some big changes have happened in the last few months and I am LIVING for them! Between traveling, work, this beautifully hot summer, going back to school (whaattt?!!), and just life in general, this girl has been oh so busy but just oh so happy! What’s with these changes? Well I decided to stop being so. damn. indecisive. The meditation quote at the top is honestly something that hit me so hard, something that truly resonated with me, and I’m not going to forget it!

Sooo let’s just get into a quick recap, and then why you’re all really here, for those drop dead gorgeous granola bars, which I cannot stop eating, but guess who doesn’t feel bad about it? ME!

Family trip to Costa Rica in July? AMAZING. I believe this was my first “guilt free” trip, aka I was okay that I didn’t work out everyday, I was fine eating all of the tacos and drinking all of the piña coladas, and I was loving floating in the ocean for a week! Boom. That’s growth right there ladies and gents. And now it’s hot AF in Atlanta, but who’s surprised there, pushing me to embrace the sports bra and shorts running life, which I’m also truly enjoying! Never in a million years would I have even dreamed of doing that, but look at me go! …in all honesty, it’s less laundry to wash that way, so maybe it’s just a life hack for you!

Onto my training. I’ve been in race training mode since the spring of 2017. That’s over a year of nonstop training, which helps busy my mind and keep me on a tight schedule, which I’m all about. Between June 2017-July 2018, I ran a 10k, 2 half marathons, 1 marathon, and a shit ton of miles, which may not seem like anything crazy to runners, but between working 2 jobs, trying to sleep, actually see my husband and have a social life, it was a LOT. I never gave myself more than a week of a “break,” and as of now, it’s been 3 weekssince the 10k on July 4th(oh heyyyy best race everrrr!) and I’m okay with it! I love a schedule, I mean come check out my daily to-do planner, but running whatever miles my body is in the mood for – whether it’s 2 or 10 – has been beautiful. Am I itching to sign up for a fall/winter half? Abso-freaking-lutely. Will I? …probably! But hey, loving this moment I’m in right now!

Okay, so also, KICKBOXING – what is UP. Just started, and shout out to Vesta Movement for kicking my behind. I’m obsessed. Like to the point where I just want to be hella strong like the women at this gym, want to get a bag for our house and practice all. day. long. Watch out running, you have huge competition here! Runner’s high is something unreal, but the power you feel after an hour of kickboxing and strength training is insane! Try it. Seriously!

And lastly, school. After over a year+ of going back and forth,errr being indecisive,I’ll be going back to school in the fall for my Master’s in Human Nutrition!  I tried it once in college, and partying took priority then, but now that I’m slightly more mature and focused, I’m doin’ it! Ohhh the dream, back to school at 28! But the day that I am a nutritionist that bakes kick ass healthy pastries, girl, I’ll be living! Just wait, my friends ;)

AND NOW! This recipe. I’ve been trying to create this for soooo dang long! A no bake, simple ingredient, tasty AF, healthy, filling bar. I’ve been so pleased with my last few recipes, and this isn’t any different! It’s such a killer snack, and I mean, your girl is the #queenofsnacking. My recent food sensitivities have really screwed with me, so having to get a touch creative while sticking to my simple ingredients has been a ride! Nut allergy? Try sunflower butter!It’s also GF, (almost) raw, packed with protein and so insanely good that I have made these bars once/week. Yeah, my husband and I are in love … with each other, but mainly with these granola bars. YUM. It’ll take you a total of 5 minutes to make once the oats are toasted, and then let them chill for ~1 hour and then snack time! Crumbling them up a bit and putting on top of my smoothies has been a dream—and after an hour long session of punching and kicking a bag, doing burpees, lunges, and even a nice hilly run, these satisfy every craving you’ll have! They also give you a bit of energy with the maca powder (optional!), refuel with that protein and any sweet cravings you’re having, the dates + raisins + coconut sugar are there for you.

If you read all of this, THANK YOU! Life has been a beautiful thing recently, just took me realizing how my indecisiveness, lack of chill and overall worrying about everything contribute to the crazy anxiety in my life! But hey, y’all got a bomb ass recipe out of this, so you’re welcome, and enjoy it, babes!!

IMG_7968.jpg
IMG_7971.jpg
IMG_7980.JPG
IMG_7987.JPG

ingredients

Rolled Oats, toasted—10.5 oz, or 3 cups

Dates, seeded and rough chopped—6 oz, or 1 cup

Raisins—4 oz, or 1 cup

Sunflower Seeds—2 oz, or ½ cup

Flax Seeds—2 TBL

Maca Powder—2 tsp

Collagen Powder—2 scoops

Peanut Butter—11.25 oz, or 1 ¼ cup

Honey—5 oz, or ½ cup

Coconut Sugar—1.25 oz, or 3 TBL

Vanilla Extract—2 tsp

Almond Extract—1 tsp

 

process

Preheat your oven to 350˚F and toast your oats on a baking sheet for about 20-25 minutes. You should be able to smell them when they are finished!

Combine chopped dates, raisins, seeds, maca and collagen into a large bowl.

Once oats have cooled a bit, add to this bowl as well.

In a medium sized sauce pan, combine the peanut butter, honey and coconut sugar. Place over medium heat to melt and combine.

Once all melted, take off of the heat and add in your extracts.

Stir.

Pour over the oat mixture.

Stir (best with your hands!) to coat.

Press onto a baking sheet lined with either a Silpat or parchment paper.

Put in either fridge or freezer for at least an hour.

Remove, cut and eat!

Stores best in either a plastic zip bag or container in the fridge.

 

Bon Appétit!

IMG_7981.jpg
IMG_5215.jpg

Raw Protein Bites & Life Update

As we listen deeper to our bodies and elevate our health as a value in our lives, we walk the Earth attuned, resilient and nourished.
IMG_7847.JPG

As it may be obvious, I have taken a bit of time off from the wonderful world of KBB. Since my last post in December...yes, it's been about 5 months, damn!...I've been oddly busy. Between training for my second marathon (woo 23 minute PR!), exploring our new little neighborhood, finding my husband the perfect bicycle, getting into a new workout routine and finally taking care of my cranky, stubborn body, this website has been forgotten about.

From December all the way to the marathon in late March, that training was consuming me in every single way. It's true that yes, this training cycle was SO much healthier: not restricting my body when it needed food, not staying out way too late on nights when I had a 20 mile run the next morning, getting in stretching, strength training...honestly, there's no way that it could have been better! Even had an incredible running support group, Sugar Runs men and women! It also opened my eyes up to all of the foods that my body rejects that I've been forcing it to deal with for years! The "down" side to marathon training? I'm tired, don't want to do more activity than is assigned, I put my runs first, and I find it acceptable to eat heaps of nuts...like by the handfuls.

It's no secret that I love pushing my body to the limit, like let's get my heart rate way up, run for hours, lift heavier than I'm used to — being in constant competition with myself (fitness-wise) is so much fun for me. But, since coming off of a difficult race — if you even think about doing the Georgia Publix Marathon in Atlanta, be kind to yourself and TRAIN. ON. HILLS. What race has steep rolling hills for the last 6-8 miles?!!? Yeah. I have warned you! — I've decided to take a step back and get my mental health back up. Am I running a half in June? A 10k in July? Why, yes I am! But including yoga, more meditation, oodles of strength training and slightly kinder words to myself during my runs has been such a positive change the past 3-4 weeks.

So, as my fallen toenails are finally growing back and my blisters are healing, I'll be taking a slightly different approach to my day-to-day! Am I still going to be obsessed with running? Still going to push myself a couple of days per week? Hell yeah, who would I be without it?! But I'm also going to become equally as in love with slowing things down, which, if you know me, sitting still is rather difficult unless I'm asleep.

To start in on this new little journey, I want to share one of the yummiest things to come out of this kitchen of ours — like, it tastes so rich it's got to be bad, but girl, it's NOT! I've jumped on the protein ball/raw snack train, and mmm mmm mmm, I'm not getting off. Ever. While the top 4-5 ingredients are a must-have for a delicious base, the rest are all optional add-ins, but I highly recommend! These raw balls have been such an incredible addition to my morning, whether in smoothies, my afternoon sweets craving, something I can quickly eat while at the bakery where I'm surrounded by a million croissants, all buttery and soft and flaky and screaming my name...

...Anyways, as you can tell, it's a healthy and filling alternative to many snacks that I would tend to grab otherwise! And, if you can stay focused for an entire 10 minutes (unlike me), you'll have these raw snack balls faster than it'll take you to drive to your local bakery, purchase 5+ pastries, and eat them all in your car — absolutely no shaming if you do that sometimes, too!

So, please enjoy this recipe below, and as for the future of KBB? I will be adding in some more lifestyle pieces, some healthier dessert ideas, and, as always, weekly doses of our adorable dog, Raleigh, as I want this to be a place of comfort. Where if you're having some rather unpleasant nights after eating too much cheese and ice-cream, you can bet I'm in the same boat and will share all of those tips and tricks! 

IMG_7825.JPG
IMG_7832.JPG
fullsizeoutput_1a53.jpeg
IMG_7852.JPG
IMG_7858.JPG
fullsizeoutput_1a57.jpeg

ingredients

Dates—2 cups, pitted and soaked

Collagen or Protein Powder—4 servings

Cacao Powder—1 cup

Almond Meal—3 cups

Coconut Oil—2 tsp

Honey—¾ cup

Cinnamon—1 TBL

Pink Sea Salt—1 tsp

Maca Powder—1tsp

Chia Seeds—1 TBL

Flaxseeds—1 TBL

Cacao Nibs—2 TBL

Almonds—¼ cup

 

process

Place your pitted dates into a heatproof cup; pour boiling water over them until covered to soften, about 5 minutes.

While the dates are soaking, put the collagen or protein, cacao powder and coconut oil into your blender or food processor. Add in the soaked dates + 2-3 TBL of the date water. Make sure to save the water, as you may need to add more later on!

Add in the almond meal (or any nut flour you prefer), honey, cinnamon, salt, maca, chia seeds, flaxseeds, cacao nibs and almonds.

Blend.

At this point, you can taste for flavor and consistency. If it is too dry, add in another tablespoon of the date water. Too wet? Add in more flour. Not feeling the taste? Some honey will sweeten it up, some cinnamon will add a bit of a kick—you choose!

Once they are at their perfect consistency, which is slightly sticky, but not too much that you can’t roll them, roll into about 2” balls.

Then roll all of your little bites in some coconut—can be unsweetened or sweetened, definitely preference—or no coconut at all!

Place in a sealed container in the fridge, and enjoy for a perfect pre workout snack, with a smoothie, an afternoon pick me up!

Makes: ~25 balls

 

Bon Appétit!

 
IMG_7861.JPG