January 23, 2018

Fruity Energy Bars

Fruity Energy Bars resize

I’ve got a lot of hoops to jump through when it comes to making snacks for my girls.  I try to eat Paleo myself, and while I do serve my girls grains and legumes, I am always searching for recipes that rely on Paleo ingredients first.  Next, my older daughter is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts.  That eliminates a giant swath of choices in the Paleo category, which excludes grains in favor of nuts.  So for baking, that leaves me either coconut products (which we love and use often), or seeds, like pepitas or sunflower seeds.  I found a recipe that sounded good, reconfigured it for our needs, and now I proudly present:  Fruity Energy Bars!

In the grocery store, you’ll find half an aisle dedicated to energy and granola bars.  I love them and I love that, for the most part, they’re healthy and nutritious.  They are, however, kind of pricy – sometimes two or three dollars a bar!  And it seems like the ones with the fewer ingredients are even more expensive!  (I’m looking at you, Larabar!)  Now, these Fruity Energy Bars couldn’t be quicker – just three minutes in the food processor, and about half an hour to chill and firm up.  I think you could easily exchange the dried cranberries for another dried fruit – apples, apricots, raisins, prunes, or cherries would all work.  If you want to use nuts instead of sunflower seeds, try almonds or walnuts.  They do warm up very quickly and get soft, so keep them in the fridge until ready to eat.  Ready?  Get energized!

Fruity Energy Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds (I used roasted and salted)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Pour all the ingredients into the bowl of  your food processor.  Pulse to blend, then mix for about 3 minutes.  You can blend it all the way together and it will form a ball, but I took mine out before that so I could still have a little texture to the bars – kind of like the consistency of sticky sand.
  2. Line an 8×8 pan with plastic wrap, or grease with a little coconut oil.  Press the mixture into the pan and press down with the back of a big spoon.  Refrigerate for at least half an hour.  Cut into 1″x4″ bars.  Get energized and go be productive!

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana

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To view even more of Dana’s unique recipes, you can visit her at Frugal Girlmet!

Are You Letting Your Schedule Dictate What You Will Eat?

stress eating

One of the biggest challenges for a busy woman is knowing how to eat for her schedule. Let’s be honest…trying to plan healthy meals and snacks can sometimes be aggravating. Things get so busy; sometimes it does not seem possible to have any control over what you will eat for your next meal.

Right when you think you have your healthy eating habits together, your schedule and life changes. You may have evenings that you work late; weeks that you travel or have business dinners; or you may have weeks that you literally have an activity every night of the week with your family.  All those outside factors may leave you feeling powerless and with no control over your next meal.

I remembered the many changes in my life with the birth of my second child.  I had to re-adjust my life and schedule.  Things really began to change when he entered school.  Now he was not just tagging along to his big sister’s activities…he had his own. I now have two kids at the baseball field going in different directions, on top of all other life responsibilities.

ball season

No matter how hectic life gets, our bodies still need adequate nutrition. A few months ago, I read a story of a 17 year old girl who for many years had a diet consumed with fast food and frozen chicken nuggets, only. Her diet was completely void of fruits and vegetables. When she was hospitalized after collapsing, doctors discovered her body was so deficient in vitamins and nutrients that she had to be injected with them.

Getting adequate amounts of vitamins and nutrients for me and my family is very important. I know I will eat healthier at work and with my family when meals and snacks are prepared at home.  However, eating healthy does not just happen and it is hard to do with a crazy schedule.  As with anything in life worth having, planning and preparation is the key.

The trick:  Plan your upcoming meals and snacks on a day when you have the least amount of stress or responsibilities. Don’t wait to figure out what you are going to eat during a busy day because you have too many other things on your mind that may include a long “to do” list and who knows what other things could pop up.

Once you pick your day to make the preparations, begin putting together your strategies for your meals so that they are time efficient, yet healthy.  Follow me on Pinterest and Facebook to get more ideas and recipes.  With a few tricks you can avoid making the mistake of letting your schedule dictate what you will eat.

In Good Health,
Crystal