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
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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!!

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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!

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