Home made oat bars

If you are just as fed up as I am with most energy bars out there due to their extremely high sugar contents, I urge you to try these simple oat bars. No added sugar whatsoever and only a fraction of the sweetness. Trust me, you can train your taste buds to tolerate less sugar by consuming less. Eventually you will desire less, without the need to call upon your willpower.

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl:

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 Tbs ground flax seed
  • 1 1 /2 cups of raisins and pumpkin seed mix OR slivered almonds and raw cacao nibs (try mixing in chocolate chips if you want to lure your kids into eating them)

In a blender or food processor, mix 1/2 cup of almond milk with 4 large, ripe bananas.

Combine the dry ingredients with the banana mix. Press into an oiled 12x9 baking dish and bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes.

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When cool, slice them into bars. Although they are crunchier straight out of the oven, I store them in the fridge as a go-to snack for the whole family for as long as they last.

"Casual" cookies

They were meant to be "cashew cookies", but my friend thought of a better name for them - a casual nibble with zero guilt, because they are gluten free, flour free and with no added sugar whatsoever. Eat them for breakfast, snack or dessert.

They really are yummy, seriously!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of raw, unsalted cashews
  • 1 cup of unsweetened dried coconut
  • 2 large bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 2 tbsp of almond milk

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Step 2: Grind cashews in food processor with some small chunks remaining.

Step 3: Transfer to a bowl and mix in shredded coconut.

Step 4: Combine bananas, egg, vanilla extract, cinnamon, salt in a food processor and blend to create a thick, brown paste.

Step 5: Pour the paste over the cashew-coconut mixture. Mix well.

Step 6: Add almond milk to add more moisture to the mix.

Step 7: Scoop 1 Tbsp of mixture at a time to cookie sheet. Flatten them and make sure they are not too thick. You should have about two dozen cookies.

Step 8: Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let them cool completely and store them in the fridge.

A super food smoothie, or is it a dessert?

This a an adaptation of raw foodist David Wolfe's super food smoothie. I adapted and shaved off about 10 ingredients out of the 16+ from the original recipe, including a bunch of Andean herbs and Chinese medicinal tonics. I guess the result is a less super food smoothie but still jam-packed with nutrients and anti-oxidants that is filling enough to be a meal, yet tastes unbelievably like a dessert, especially if you are a chocolate fan!

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Step 1:

A good blender. I don't have a Vitamix, but meet this little guy - Nutribullet. It is an excellent alternative if you don't want to spend over $100 for a blender. I used it to make almond milk this morning and it was fabulous!

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Step 2:

A base liquid. I am using the almond milk I just  I made. You don't have to do this! Wolfe suggests water, coconut water, any nut milk or tea concoction you prefer.

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Step 3:

Add chocolate and berries. According to Wolfe, cacao is the number 1 anti-oxidant. Cacao and berries together is like the marriage of a power couple whose union multiplies the anti-oxidizing, anti-inflammatory superpower of each other. I am using raw cacao powder, a mix of frozen berries and unwanted strawberry stems from my daughter's breakfast. I recently discovered the Chinese berries I grew up with, my mom gives me bags and bags of each time I go back to Hong Kong, are the Goji berries (fructus lycii)  everyone raves about these days. So I am also throwing those in!

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Step 4:

A dash of coconut oil to add body and hold it all together. Almond butter is also a good binding agent.

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Step 5:

A half to a teaspoon of maca - a high altitude crop from the Andes that is often compared to the Chinese ginseng. It is supposed to be an adaptogen, a herb that increases the body's ability to adapt to stress and changing situations. It regulates endocrine health and gives you the energy boost that coffee does without the caffeine. You can also sprinkle it on cereals, as I was told by a native Peruvian.

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Step 6:

Add honey as a sweetener.

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Enjoy! Play with the proportion of the ingredients. Mine is not too thick, not too sweet, just the way I like it!